So I’m now back on the mainland having finished my 2-week stint helping with Project Puffin‘s post-season and closed down the island for the winter. While I was sad to watch that magnificent, magical island disappearing into the mist, I admit I’m now gleefully reveling in the forested landscape that was lacking on that treeless island. But to live fully immersed in nature, I felt truly at home. That a 66-acre slab of rock set out in the Atlantic can hold such a rich diversity of life and that I had it just about completely to myself is an experience that I will treasure forever into my future. This being my fourth time waving goodbye to Seal as the boat motors us back to the mainland, as I’ve said to myself every time before, I said it again, I’ll see you again.
What was especially thrilling and a new experience for me was to be invited by explore.org to do a live chat from Seal about the puffin season, my work with the project, and to answer questions from the passionate and enthusiastic viewers who watch the Seal Island puffin cams which transmit live-feed during the nesting season various views on the island where the birds like to congregate, or “loaf” as well as a front row seat in the burrow of one of the hundreds of puffins that nest between the boulders around the island’s northern shoreline.
While answering questions, I touch on the island research and it’s importance in having amassed some four decades of science: monitoring of the birds, collecting data on productivity, banding terns, puffins and guillemots and carrying out feeding studies to see what forage fish the birds are bringing in to feed their young throughout the nesting season. This ultimately gives us an idea of how the birds are surviving in the face of human influence and how they might be affected by climate change.
So I invite you to sit back and watch a very enthusiastic talk by your very own @stacebird as I talk about an island I adore and a project that gives me great hope for the future and pride and joy to have gotten all the opportunities to be a part of.