We returned to Burhou last weekend with a larger team, specifically to try to monitor the Storm Petrel population on the islet. Once counted in tens of thousands, the last official figure recorded in the 2000 Seabird Survey was only around 30 pairs. For the 2nd year running the team led by Chris Mourant caught just under 500 petrels over two nights (including c 150 re-traps - with some French and British-ringed birds). The high proportion of re-traps strongly supports our belief that there is a much higher population. In fact when last calculated in 2008 using the capture/recapture method it was estimated at 1,000 pairs.
We now believe this figure to be too low. It will be very interesting to see what the capture/recapture data from last weekend's trip gives us.
Whatever...it does show that Burhou is a very important Storm petrel colony in our region!
For me it was a real bonus too that we found another 70 Lesser Black-backed Gull chicks to colour ring on this visit!
|Chris Mourant and Team members Ringing Storm Petrels (c) PKV|
|Atlantic Puffins on Burhou (c) PKV|
|Team Searching for LBBG Chicks (c) PKV|
|LBBG Chick Search (c) PKV|
|A Well Deserved Rest (c) PKV|