16 June 2014

Dire CES and our first Kittiwake chick

The last few days have been busy as ever, including a very poor CES visit to Gunwalloe. The graph below shows how our catches in the reedbed have been pretty poor this year (shown in black) in comparison to the previous three and our recent session was barely any better, with 17 birds only a slight improvement on last year. The catch was mostly Reed Warblers, but here's hoping it'll pick up soon...

On a slightly better note, a quick visit to Rinsey yesterday found our first Kittiwake chick of the year. Not so good news was the fact that there are very few pairs in the zawn and that two birds that were on eggs have now lost them...

I do wonder if the apparent decline in Kittiwake numbers has something to do with the concurrent increase in the number of pairs of Herring Gulls in the zawn. From only a couple of pairs a few years ago there are now as many as 15 pairs, which must have some impact on the Kittiwakes.

Herring Gulls are much earlier breeders than Kittiwakes,
with pairs already with well-grown young
We've also recently met up with Shaun Boyns who runs the National Trust's West Cornwall Barn Owl Project and hopefully in the future we'll be able to work with Shaun to monitor their nestboxes. The project is just taking off now, with 18 new boxes going up this year, so this would be an exciting addition to our network of sites.

Three Barn Owl chicks at the National Trust offices at Treveal

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