Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Birding at Bass rock

After a 45 minute train ride from Edinburgh to North Berwick in scotland, we walked to the Scottish Seabird Center. At the center, we had to get in line fast to get tickets or we would have to wait for the next boat trip to Bass Rock. We did get tickets but after that we had to get good seats on the boat or we would have to stand up to take pictures and not stay in our seats.  Once we got to our first stop, not Bass Rock but a small little island with a lot of puffins. Most of them were in the water but some of them were inside there burrows with the chicks. Puffins do make nests but not on top of the ground.  The puffins were amazing. They dig burrows underground and lay there eggs there instead of above ground. We circled the island once and then we headed to Bass Rock.

Atlantic Puffin just taking off.

On our way to Bass rock,we knew when we were getting close because thousands of Gannets started to fly over our heads.  When we first saw Bass Rock from far away, it looked white because there were so many Gannets close together. When we got closer, Bass rock looked white but now we could see the Gannets up close. We got super close. Now instead of just a few Gannets flying over our heads,  there were thousands. There were so many, the sky was white! Most of the Gannets were on Bass Rock. The Gannets were so loud, it sounded like I was behind a fighter jet about to take off. I was super excited. Sadly, the chicks have only a few days to learn how to swim and dive or they will starve because soon after they hatch, the parents will stop catching fish for the chick. There were some Gannets mating with each other. I did not stop clicking the shutter on my camera until we were
speeding off back to the seabird center. My fingers were so tired, I thought they would fall off!

 Close up of a Northern Gannet's six-foot wing span.
I loved the trip because the Gannets are so big and it seemed as if you could almost touch them. They were so close.

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