30 Days Wild – Day 25 – ‘Ane wounderful crag…’

Day 25 was a packed day. But we’ll start with Tantallon Castle and something great and white on the horizon…

No, not a shark. This isn’t a Jaws story. It’s this instead.

Bass Rock is a colossal Gannetry. A colony of Gannets. For birders visiting the castle, it is the thing that will draw your eye.

‘Ane wounderful crag risand within the sea’ – Hector Boece, 1527

While the 30,000 or more at Bempton are impressive, at the peak of the season there can be a whopping 150,000 Gannets on the Bass. That means the Firth of Forth is home to the world’s largest colony of Northern Gannets.

From a distance it looks white, and it’s only when you look closer you realise it’s just thousands of birds.

It’s not so easy to get a good look without going out on a boat (I’ve done it and highly recommend it) as they mainly fish further rout, but you soon realise the skies are dotted with them too.

It wasn’t just Gannets, and both here and from the harbour at North Berwick Puffins and Razorbills could also be spotted.

Close to the shore the most common sight were crèches of Eider Duck, females and juveniles only. The males are now far out to sea.

Every now and again you’d find an adult female away from babysitting duties, just enjoying a break from the wind in the afternoon sunshine.

All manner of gulls were about, as were Fulmar, Red-breasted Merganser, and Oystercatcher.

All of that is without even mentioning, or showing, the castle itself. Which is well worth seeing.

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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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