Written by Bethan Hall-Jones

 

Photos by Bethan Hall-Jones

 

We have now been at Skálanes for 4 weeks and have 2 weeks left! Time has been flying by and we have been up to so much since the last blog post.

The eider duck project, being run by Lotta, has now moved into the lab stage with all the faeces and water samples having been collected. Most of the faecal samples have now been analysed in the lab and a significant majority of them have been found to contain microfibres. Once they are all complete and can be input into R, we will have a better picture of the distribution of microfibres within the samples!

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Lotta working hard looking at samples through the lab microscope

For the fox project, Avery and Clara have been on many long walks, sometimes accompanied by the whole team, looking for fox dens. While no active dens have been found, we have managed to find several old dens with bones and feathers around the entrances. There have even been two sightings of a fox in the area, so the dens are out there but they just need to be found! Hopefully, this will be soon with the addition of new camera traps.

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Bones found in the entryway of an old fox den

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An old fox den with a series of entry holes

The puffin project is ticking along really well, and Emma has so far collected a lot of data that she hopes to start analysing soon! Working on this project has been interesting as the weather has been so variable on the exposed cliff face. The changing conditions have sometimes been challenging for observations but will hopefully help to provide a broad picture of puffin behaviour and whether this changes with the weather.

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A curious puffin watching us while we watch them

The bird monitoring project, being headed by Abi, has ramped up in the last week with the hatching of the chicks on the cliff. As the number of chicks needs to be counted along with the number of adult kittiwakes and fulmars, the workload has doubled. While the numbers have yet to be analysed, there seems to be a trend of decreasing numbers of birds on the cliff site, which could potentially be due to a nest failing and the parents abandoning the unsuccessful nest.

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A Kittiwake chick perched on the edge of the cliff

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(Left to Right) Clara, Abi and Emma out on the observation platform

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