Saturday, 3 September 2011
The South Ness Monster
We see gannets everyday here on the May as they head past to a from Bass Rock but they rarely land on the island. Jeremy had an injured one a couple of weeks ago and usually if they end up on the island they are coming to die.
But a couple of days ago a fine big healthy looking bird spent the day sitting on the South Ness preening itself and looking a giant in amongst all the roosting kittiwakes. In some ways this is an exciting event but there is also a bit of nervousness about it. Gannets are doing pretty well around here and are filling up Bass Rock on the south side of the Forth rapidly. 100000 gannets nest there making it the biggest single gannetry in the UK. If they run out of space on Bass then they will start looking for new nesting areas and the Isle of May might suit them. The only problem with this is that the Isle of May doesn't have much spare room with it cliffs packed with kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, shags and fulmers and the flatter ground covered with gulls and puffins. Gannets are big and will turf other birds out so if they colonise the Isle of May it might mean the other seabirds are the losers. As it is the bird was gone the next day but it sitting on the South Ness reminded me that these habitats and species are in a constant flux and it is hard to predict how these seabird populations will fare in the future.