17 May 2014

CES rosefinch and island Cormorants

The continued high pressure gave us a great chance to do some catching up before a few of us are off cannon-netting gulls on Guernsey next week. First on the agenda was CES yesterday, with ours at Gunwalloe catching 16 birds, mostly Reed and Sedge Warbler. This compares to 19 birds last year (15 Reed Warblers), 29 in 2011 (19 Reed Warblers) and 33 in 2011 (15 Reed Warblers).

We were, however, beaten by the Nanjizal CES near Land's End, which netted 87 birds including a couple of Grasshopper Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher and this surprisingly rather smart young male Common Rosefinch!

Today we were then able to get over to Mullion Island to ring a few Cormorants from the 51 nests we counted earlier in the season. There were a surprisingly large number of young birds (perhaps as many as 70), many quite well-grown, but we were able to corall a good number and colour-ringed 18 birds as part of our monitoring on the island.

With the outboard still dead, it was a long row out
The Cormorant colony can be seen just left of centre above the mallow
Some of the newly colour-ringed Cormorants
The three island explorers counting gull nests, as seen from the mainland
Once we'd got the Cormorant ringing out of the way, we were able to have a quick look round the island to count the number of occupied Great Black-backed Gull nests. We are bound to have missed some, but the total of 62 nests (with 174 eggs) was still pretty impressive. This is almost as many as on Looe Island, which vies with Mullion Island to hold the title of the county's largest colony!

Thanks to Emma for the Mullion photos from the mainland and Kester for the gripping rosefinch pic.

1 comment:

  1. We are counting Looe GBb on Monday. Confident we can beat 62 nests!