With Jamie Hooper's much appreciated help, (and the necessary permission of the States Environment Department) I went over to Lihou Island yesterday to try to assess the gull breeding season. We managed to complete a circuit of the island's coastline, and almost completed the work on Lissroy too, before the tide began to cover the causeway again and we had to retreat back to Guernsey.
There were relatively few Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull chicks on the south side of the island, and quite a few empty nests (which looked very clean and therefore unused). This pattern was repeated on the west side, but fortunately the usual stronghold on the eastern side proved to be very good with double figures of well-grown Herring Gull chicks.
It was a well-timed visit because although almost all of the gull chicks found (except the very small ones) were large enough to take a colour ring, none was yet big enough to attempt to fledge and fly down the beach. Instead all birds stayed hiding under rocks or in the rock crevices.
As expected there were few Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and most of these appeared to still have eggs or very small young.
We managed to ring 28 Herring Gulls and 18 Great Black-backed Gulls - which is pretty reasonable these days.
GBBG Yellow 0.TT6
Herring Gull White 8CP0