Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Islands on the Firth of Forth

After the rush of the Sisters trip it was back to living in the delight that is Scotland and making the most of it.

I booked a couple of boat trips on the Forth, the first to visit Inchcolm and its Abbey, sailing from South Queensferry.

On the way to the island one of the river buoys was fully occupied with Grey Seals:


The early morning cloud burned off all at once late morning, leaving the historic abbey bathed in sunshine:



Exploring around the island takes you into the habitat of the gull colony, most of whom were busy raising and indeed protecting chicks.  Gulls get very protective in fact, this one dive-bombed my head a number of times before i saw the chick it was guarding:



Elsewhere on a rocky shoreline a pair of Oystercatchers mooched at high tide:


An Eider Duck cruised past followed by a couple of young ducklings:














After we left the island the boat then motored around the Forth crossings, from old:


To new:


A couple of weeks later it was time to try the May Isle again, this time i hoped we'd both make land and see lots of nesting sea birds.   It was indeed third time lucky.  Lucky for me but not for the Arctic Tern colony, the harsh and late winter had disturbed their breeding, only one nest of the usual 150 was active, most of the birds are just idling on the shoreline in the small harbour:














The odd one takes off to feed or drink:


Some parts of the island are quite quiet really considering there's roughly 150 people and 200,000 birds on or about the island on busy days:



Even without the nesting sea-birds it's worth a visit i reckon:


There's Guillemots:


Razorbills:


The stars of the show however are the Puffins:


At this time of year a lot of them are to-ing and fro-ing from their burrows bringing food for the pufflings therein:


The odd one stops for a breather before heading out to sea again:


Some of them even have time for a chatter:


It's a lovely place to visit and i'm delighted i finally managed to enjoy it the way I had hoped.  I even managed a few pictures of the birds in flight, which was what i really wanted to achieve:



Magic!

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