Coquet welcomes the 2012 seabird season
The RSPB wardens are settled into their quarters in the lighthouse, the spring cleaning is done and Coquet is busier than ever.
In March there were eleven people living on the island: builders continuing the restoration of the ancient scheduled monument, Trinity House staff servicing the Coquet light, making sure it’s in perfect working order, and RSPB wardens finishing off all the outside work (grass cutting the tern nesting plots and putting all the nest boxes out).
Work stopped abruptly to gaze in quizzical admiration as the Flowmill passed Coquet Island en route for the Tyne. Usually work is occasionally interrupted by the sight of a passing pod of dolphins or a breeching whale, so it was quite surreal to watch this floating piece of artwork sail by, straddled by two boats.
As for the birds, the fulmars are already prospecting their nest sites and the first puffins have been spotted a few miles out to sea. The black-headed gulls have announced their noisy presence on the waters around the island.
It won’t be long before the first of the terns appear and the kittiwakes start constructing their impressive nests along the cliffs.
The noisy courtships of the eiders could be heard in the harbour back in December – they will soon start settling on the island, building their camouflaged nests in the taller vegetation.