This year we arrived at the Isle of May in relative luxury. Instead of the usual trip out from Anstruther harbour by RIB, this year we embarked on the May Princess.
Part of the reason for this was the sheer amount of field equipment we have. We will be on the island with a team from the Sea Mammal Research Unit (University of St. Andrews) and a team from Abertay University. Altogether there will be 10 of us on the island, with research spanning all aspects of grey seal biology. Our team, Courtney, Zoe and Sean, will be focusing on the behaviour of individuals and the physiological underpinnings of individual differences in behaviour – but more of that later.
After landing on the island around noon, the rest of the day was spent moving equipment and food to the house (the former lighthouse keeper’s cottage, maintained by Scottish natural heritage (SNH). The mountain of kit was moved and stowed away with remarkable speed and efficiency, and as the night drew in we lit the fire in the living room and settled down to our first hot meal on the island, and a wee glass to celebrate our arrival!