22 November 2015
It has been 18 days since I last looked in on my Guillemot survey ledges. Back on the fourth of November, their breeding moult had just started. Today it was it full swing, with birds in all stages of head plumage, all busily preening themselves and each other. Here and there, a moulted feather floated in the air joined by calls of greeting, contentment, and contention.
This is only my fifth visit to my survey ledges this winter. By this time last year I'd made 16 visits. There were only light winds today, a pleasant change from the storms of the last two weeks. The sky was dark with clouds at 6:50am as a left the house. A glow of orange in the south-east marked the promise of dawn. Sika Deer moved in the half-light just north of Quarter Wall, bouncing a few steps before stopping to watch me. David Braine had forecast rain this morning - so far it was dry, and by the time I'd reached Jenny's Cove I could see rain showers far to the west. My binoculars revealed Guillemots on the southern cliffs of the cove but it was still too dark to start filming. I left my video camera and its tripod and headed north to my other survey sites. The Soay sheep were moving up to the plateau as I crossed the stream by the "Black House". I often see them heading up from Jenny's at this time of day, suggesting that they sometimes sleep on these Sidelands.
Lundy's cliffs have many names, named by the different groups of people that have worked and played on the island over the years. Aztec Bay appears in Michael Williams' " The Lundy Companion" as "a small bay on the West Side between St. Mark's Stone and St. Philip's Stone". To the climbers that visit after seabirds have left, the same bay is formed by St. Mark's Stone, the Parthenos, Grand Falls Zawn, Double Headed Zawn (formerly Langham's Cavity), and Beaufort Buttress.
07h35 stma 140 07h45 grfa 1.(0)2.2 07h45 stph (14)38.0 07h50 grfa 1.(0)9.2 jeco 08h05 e14 0,(28,29),(17,7),22,13,2,7,23,5,0,0 08h10 e11,9,3 110,23,74