Another week another Raven nest found. 4 chicks all doing well. Found a few more shags preparing nests which was nice, also around 10 pairs of Razorbill now occupying sites on the cliffs. Still no Puffin found but its early days into the season so i have hope. Short eared owls are still showing superb in the gorgeous evening light i am staking out a hopeful nest site , fingers crossed. Great Skua are around more frequently and i witnessed one pass a Raven nest which sent the female Raven into an epic aerial battle that lasted over a few minutes. The Raven got help from its partner in the end which sent the Bonxie fleeing.
Have caught up with some large flocks of Turnstone and Sanderling in recent days, these birds are feeding hungrily on the flies that are found around the piles of kelp on the beaches. The Oystercatchers seem to be seperating and are now more often seen in pairs rather than groups so they will be on eggs soon. We have some strange weather lately with snow, hail, rain, and beautiful calm sunshine! Dont think the birds know what to do..... i certainly dont.
Have caught up with a lot of the resident otters lately and am starting to figure out their springtime movements, this has altered a lot to the winter months. After talking to Richard Shucksmith from Shetland last month , I think the Otters on Orkney are surprisingly a lot different to the Shetland Otters. Richard says the best time to see them is a couple hours before and after low tide. Here on Sanday i find this is high tide, the tides on the islands are different to Shetland as the heights of the tides are more dramatic . On the sandy low beaches the tide can go out half a mile to nearly a mile which means the otters would have to travel a lot more for food, when the tide comes in it will bring food to the Otter . I will keep all my records and see what summer and Autumn bring.