Conservation and cooperation across human borders? Marine reserves, Seabird reserves. Wildlife knows no boundaries.
Feature Picture by Lesley Martin
‘The population of gannets on the Bass Rock, off the East Lothian coast in Scotland, has reached an all time record. There are now around 150,000 birds which will increase further once this year’s chicks have hatched. The Bass Rock is the largest single gannet colony in the world and was described famously by Sir David Attenborough as ‘one of the wildlife wonders of the world’.’
We hope that on this referendum day for Scotland whoever wins the power will protect the amazing range of wildlife that also has its home in and around Scotland.
On my recent visit back to the UK we went to visit the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs. Here we were able to watch at close view gannets flying, soaring by from cliff top viewing points. For me far better than taking a boat out to sea and far off rocks. Still haven’t quite recovered from my 24 hour ferry from Santander!
We learnt some interesting facts about gannets and can now possibly age them as under five years old or over. The young are quite black and then become more speckled until when mature at 5 and ready to mate their plumage becomes brilliant white with contrasting black wing tips. Around their brain is a kind of jelly that protects against the cold of the sea and their rapid dives in to catch fish.
Another place that we saw gannets a couple of years ago was off the coast of Ireland. We were visiting our friend in Kerry and went on a boat trip to the mystical and wild Skelligs. On Skelligs Michael in May there were also plenty of puffins and other sea birds such as Razorbills. Two places well worth a visit for the wildness and the wild inhabitants. Photos below with thanks to Nature Watch and other wiki sources. Last one …. My iPhone…..