It is very disappointing to report that once again (just like in 2007, 2008 and 2011), the Channel Islands’ most important colony of Lesser Black-backed Gulls has failed to produce many chicks. Our annual monitoring and ringing trip this year managed to locate and ring just 29 chicks from the 1,200 pairs of LBBGs nesting on Burhou, Alderney. We cannot (yet) be sure of the cause, although it seems most likely that this is an acute shortage of food. Further work is needed to establish the causes. With the annual recruitment into the colony so low in many years, it is difficult to see how the colony is going to sustain itself, and it is perhaps inevitable that within a few years we will see colony declining. On a slightly brighter note Herring Gulls this year on Burhou appear to have nested successfully, and there was also a threefold increase in breeding numbers from five to 15 pairs.
Chough report: July 2017
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