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Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to Burhou, Alderney

Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to be able to get back to Burhou, Alderney. This visit was made at the request of the Alderney Wildlife Trust to help BBC's Coast Team film European Storm-Petrels for a new series to be shown in the spring/summer 2012.Chris Mourant came up with me and in the first three and a half hours after dark we caught 61 Stormies - 41 new birds, 19 retraps from Burhou (all at least five years old) and one British-ringed bird. Unfortunately some heavy rain showers then swept in and we had to furl the net. It was absolutely marvellous though to be handling these amazing little seabirds again - after a gap of nearly five years!
Of course while I was on Burhou I was very keen to record any of my colour ringed gulls that were still present on the island. It was fascinating to visit the colony so late in the season. As expected there were very few fledged young, but just over half the adults were still on the island (c 1,200 birds). I was surprised how attached they still were to the colony, despite their lack of success in raising young this year. No doubt they will continue to drift away over the next few days and weeks.
138 ring reads were taken on Lesser Black-backed Gulls - including one British ringed adult (Peter Rock) and one juvenile bird from Belgium (Eric Stienen).
BBC Coast Team, Burhou -PKV 
Main LBBG Colony - Burhou - PKV 
Roosting LBBGs - Burhou - PKV 
Little Burhou - PKV 
LBBGs loafing in main colony - Burhou - PKV 
Crabby Bay, Alderney - PKV 
LBBG Black 3.K0 Burhou - PKV 
LBBG Black 3.P3 Burhou - PKV 
LBBG Black 0AC6 Burhou - PKV

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