Many thanks to The Grumbling Gecko for allowing me to re-post this here. Wonderful photos and write up about Ailsa Craig.
Ailsa Craig is famous, among other things, for the awesome gannetry that perches on its precipitous face. The isle is what remains of a volcanic plug that rises 388 metres from the Firth of Clyde about eleven miles off Girvan in Ayrshire. Depending on the angle from which you view it, the Craig can look like a stuffed dumpling or an embryonic pyramid.
We circumnavigated the island in a tiny fishing boat to experience the frenetic spectacle of seventy thousand nesting gannets. To put that into context, the world gannet population is estimated to contain 800,000 birds, and a tenth of these nest on Ailsa Craig – an island barely 0.38 square miles! Only St Kilda and Bass Rock hold larger colonies and when you put all three of these Scottish islands together they are home to half of Britain’s 500,000 gannets.
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