First of all, apologies to anyone who arrived at Troup Head yesterday afternoon expecting to see RSPB staff on site. I'm afraid this was a misprint in the Press & Journal who used the 2pm Sunday afternoon times instead of the 6pm Tuesday evening times. I hope those of you who were there ventured out onto the reserve anyway and I hope you had a good afternoon without us.
With the departure of most of the auks out to sea, Troup Head is starting to feel oddly quiet, despite the fact that there are still several thousand gannets still using the cliffs. There are still some auks to spot though and our small group of puffin-hunters who were rewarded by seeing this raft of 23 (plus one guillemot) drifting past us on the sea.
The ever-present Bonxies were out in force again, making some utterly spectacular dives at feeding gannets, and at one point getting involved in a three-way fight between gannet, skua and greater black-backed gull over a piece of dropped fish (the black-back won on this occasion). The gannet chicks are starting to get their feathers now and some are looking almost black. Emma will be going up in the next two weeks to do a final productivity count so hopefully we'll be able to report on how successful this breeding season has been.
Next week will be our last evening at Troup, so if you fancy one last look at the gannets, shags, skuas, kittwakes (and perhaps your last chance to see a puffin until next year) then we'll be there from 6pm.