This week has been a whirlwind of activity with the gulls. It is one of the most important weeks of the year for ringing chicks, with a number of colonies being visited. It is clear that Herring Gulls are enjoying one of the best breeding seasons in recent years, while LBBGs and GBBGs also appear to be doing well. Over the past week we've managed to ring just over 200 Herring Gull, 40 GBBG and 47 LBBG chicks. There was no rest today either, as Phil and I took a very nice catch of 46 gulls in the garden (including another 13 LBBGs)! Roll on August...and a rest!
It was very good to be back at the beach this morning to read about 100 gull colour rings in an hour. Most were LBBGs loafing on Chouet Landfill Beach, after feeding at the landfill and then bathing in the sea. There were also well known English and French GBBGs present.
Catherine, Phil Alexander and I enjoyed a superb day ringing
gull chicks on Jethou yesterday. Productivity amongst the Great Black-backed
Gulls (26 chicks ringed) and Herring Gulls (81 chicks ringed) was the best I’ve
seen for many years. It was also a well-timed visit with most of the chicks
being the ideal age for ringing. With so much effort going into the gull
ringing, we only ringed a few Shags. Once again I found it difficult to assess
the breeding season for Shag, as our visit was really too late for this species.
There were still some youngsters in nests, but many nests were empty (showing
signs of successful use), but there were few fledged Shags around the island
(but lots of adults in gatherings on the rocks with very few first year birds
amongst them). Puffin numbers looked strong with rafts of 14 birds off the
south-west and 13 off the traditional Puffin gulley on the north coast. Our
thanks to Dr Ogden again for his interest and support in our seabird monitoring