Steve Wright is enthusiastic about wildlife, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Taking his audience with him as he spoke in a knowledgeable and often amusing way, he gave an overview of some of the species we might see, but also explained the interplay between animals and birds and insects, as well as the plant life which provides a habitat.
A surprising revelation was that in his job as Seneschal of Tynwald, he only has to look out of the window to the spire of St Mary’s Church across the road to see peregrine falcons nesting. From his home he can also see them on the aerial mast of Police Headquarters. The Island now sees buzzards, kingfishers and egrets as well as having healthy populations of other species that are becoming scarcer elsewhere.
In addition to the birdlife which comes and goes from the Island’s cliffs, both rocky and sandy – including the Manx Shearwater on the Calf, following work to eradicate longtails – its shores are visited by a range of marine creatures such as basking sharks, Risso’s dolphin and harbour porpoises, and even including a sunfish in recent years.
Steve is a very engaging speaker and there was an interesting question-and-answer session with people referring to species they had encountered – or perhaps wondered why they hadn’t encountered them recently. Grateful thanks to Steve for a very interesting afternoon.