Landing on the only beach on the island it was first things first as Steve gave us a briefing of the days programme and we stashed clean clothes and wellies for later use!
This years 1st trip was slightly delayed as the birds were late arriving back on the breeding ledges probably due to the severe storms we had last November meaning many of them hadn't reached breeding condition until later in the year. Its to early to say how breeding numbers have been affected and that analysis will have to wait until the end of the season when numbers can be computed.
Today's trip was mainly to ring Razorbill and Shag pullus with the additional aim of catching as many adults as we could without losing too many digits!
We soon encountered our first Shag chicks and got our first coverings of guano! I was lucky enough to ring an adult male Shag - the first I'd been able to ring.
Razorbill (and Guillemot) chicks don't stay on their natal cliffs until they're fully grown but head for the sea before they can fully fly. The young bird below will soon be off and join its parents at sea where it'll complete its transition from fluffy toy to stunning adult. Note the filthy state of the ringer (me). A seabird colony isn't the place to be if you're fastidious about keeping clean!