Thursday, 31 March 2011

And we're on

And so the season really starts and the island is offically maned for the season.
Researchers, builders, contractors and volunteers have been coming back and forth for the last few weeks to start works, service machnery, clean the cottages and keep a watching eye of the bird life but on Tues. 4 of us came over to open up the buildings and get settled in. It was warm, calm and smooth when we came over but the next morning the rain had set in and the wind started. For Wednesday and Thursday we have had all sorts, it was pouring and blowing from the south east first thing but then veered round to the SW, dried up but really started blowing so the chimney in the office howls. No paying visitors today because of the strong winds but Jeremy Squire arrived having transfered from Loch Leven NNR to the Isle of May for the season. He had a bit of a bumpy trip but managed to keep his food supplies safley clasped in his hand. We nearly didn't let him on the island when we found that he had fallen fowl of the licencing laws in the supermaket. Instead he has to cook tomorrow night as punishment. However he has already proved his worth by finding a treecreeper and the second chiffchaff for the year, both frantically feeding to replenish energy after their efforts.
The weather doesn't look good for the viasitor boat for the next few days but we have still a lot to do to get the island looking good for them when they do come.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Getting Set Up

It is the time of year when we are gradually getting the island set up for the coming field season. A number of day visits have been made by various contractors to get the old lighthouse keepers cottages in Fluke Street set up for the spring summer and autumn when the researchers and wardens live on the island. The water pipes and tanks have been cleaned through, the solar panels and generators have been checked and the heating system filled. This has meant a number of trips across in the Rib Osprey, some in sunshine but most a bit rough and splashy. The latest trip on Monday coincided with a 5.8m tide, a very high tide drawn by the big moon, and this covered our high water jetty.
The island itself seems to be gradually wakening from winter, the bleached and worn out grass showing green hints, the seabirds are returning and one or two other birds are passing through. Behind each stone wall comes a churr from a wren wintering on the island. They will soon be moving on to be replaced by the fair weather island inhabitants.

Friday, 4 March 2011

An Island Blog

Many thousands of people living either side of the Firth of Forth can see the Isle of May every day when they open their curtains each morning. Millions other know of this island because of the amazing bird life, or from boating in the area or through knowledge of lighhouses or from making a Christian pilgrimage. Of these people about 9000 visit the island each year to experience a snapshot of what is happening on the island. But at the most they only visit the island once a year and most never visit. So the aim of this blog is to show those who can't visit but who are interested a little of how the island changes through the seasons, the comings and goings of the birds and seals and the constantly changing little community of people who work and stay on the island. Feel free to comment.