Monday, 13 July 2015

Sule Skerry


I have just returned from a week on Sule Skerry, a very small island off the Caithness coastline, 25 miles out to sea and technically included within the Orkney group.

Together with eleven others, we endeavoured to ring sea-birds breeding on the low-lying skerry, the initial week of a three week expedition mounted by the British Trust for Ornithology.

Sule Skerry is only visited every couple of years as it is very isolated (six hour boat trip from Scrabster) and there are no available facilities, so it was a case of camping out and spending most of the time in the open air. Like most of Scotland recently the weather was often wet and windy but we enjoyed a successful week catching birds in this sea-bird city.

Puffins dominated with tens of thousands nesting in burrows, and this was by far the most common birds caught and ringed (over 3,000 in seven days). The only breeding passerine is Rock Pipit and a couple of pairs of Starling. The only other passerine we saw were a couple of migrant Crossbills.

Please find some Puffin images below, hopefully with further images of birds photographed on the island tomorrow...


Neil M

The charismatic Atlantic Puffin!

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