We have had an eventful few weeks here at South Stack. Hot weather and strong winds conspired to cause a fire on the 'Range' last weekend. Unfortunately the flames rampaged through the gorse despite the heroic efforts of the fire service and RSPB staff. Last minute backburning seemed to do the trick in the end although flames could still be seen late into the night. Approximately 5.5 hectares of heathland have been wiped out along with whitethroat , linnet and stonechat nests. This was a very sad event in the history of the reserve and has left a desolate black moonscape where life and vitality had prevailed. Hopefully the fire will not re- ignite and recent rainfall will help to cool down the charred ground.
On a brighter note the rest of the reserve is alive with activity. Our four chough chicks are almost ready to fledge and are really doing well. They can be seen jumping up with their beaks open, ready to receive food from the busy parent birds who sometimes arrive at the nest together, to feed the hungry youngsters. The chicks clamber over each other to get the best spot in the nest and they are so big now that they are bulging over the sides!
The guillemots and razorbills are sitting on eggs down on the cliff edges and its a truly awe inspiring sight. The birds are packed together like lines of soldiers and are sticking to their task valiently! Our razorbill pair can now be seen on a live webcam on the South Stack website which is great news. The couple can be seen preening each other prior to swapping over egg sitting responsibilities! Its lovely to see this close up of 'life on the ledge' The raw growling sound that the birds make can be heard clearly and their wonderful peach coloured mouths can be seen up close. The egg should be hatching in about a week and a half which we can all now experience live on the web. A very thrilling prospect!
Puffins are seen most days now , either on the water or near the burrows and all our gulls are settling down to nest too. So all the action is happening out on the cliffs. This is the place to be!
Why not join us for our ' SpringWatch' weekend 2nd and 3rd June. Lots of activities for the children and chance to get up close to nature. See you there.
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