A very happy PKV with LBBG chick, Burhou - Jen StockdaleI'm just back from Burhou, Alderney having completed the seabird ringing and monitoring work for another year. For my research projects the last trip is always one of the most important - as Burhou hosts by far the largest colony of Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the Channel Islands (c 1,000 pairs).
Burhou - PKV
LBBG colony - Burhou PKV
LBBG Black 6.V9, Burhou - PKV
LBBG chicks Black 4.V9 and 4.V0, Burhou - Jen StockdaleThis year Chris Mourant and Jen Stockdale (Alderney Wildlife Trust's ecologist) joined me to make up the three person team, licensed to visit the island. The combination of a good breeding season, fine weather and a very hard working team resulted in a record total of 334 Lesser Black-backed Gull chicks being ringed. Of these 259 were large enough to also take a colour ring. There are still several weeks to go before the majority of chicks fledge, but so far it is looking like a very successful year for the gulls.
In addition we ringed 18 Herring Gulls (16 with colour rings). The Atlantic Puffins were still rafting offshore, but I imagine that most will have gone within the next few weeks.
Another superb effort from the team was the successful reading of Gu21 colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls - including another (the third of the season) which had been ringed in winter at Gloucester Landfill.
Finally it was good to see three Mediterranean Gulls on passage through Alderney - two adults and a juvenile bird. As the birds were only seen on the wing we could not check them for colour rings.
My thanks again to Roland Gauvain and Jen Stockdale in Alderney, and to local ringer Chris Mourant - all of whom have played a vital part in the Lesser Black-backed Gull research project this year.