19 March 2015

Mullion Island Cormorants on the move

Never good to find that the morning you're off over to your seabird island there's frost all over your kayak! But thankfully the good old Cornish sun came out and warmed the day up pretty quickly.

So three of the group paddled out to Mullion Island (with an intrepid swimmer in tow), primarily to check how the Cormorants were doing. With our first Shag egg being a month earlier than in 2014, we'd half expected the Cormorants to be hatching by now. But what greeted us was a little bit disappointing...

The same area of the island in 2014, with numerous raised nest sites
The 'usual' (for the last two years at least) site was unoccupied, which had us worried momentarily, until we noticed where the birds had moved to for the summer! A small number of birds had moved onto the east-facing cliff edge, but most birds had moved right out onto the steepest cliff-edge along the western side of the island.

The white splats are a good indication of where the colony has now moved to
So sadly it looks like our Cormorant colour-ringing will be a bit limited this year, but at least it'll be easier to round up Great Black-backed Gull chicks later in the year.

And yes, whilst it was a nice and sunny day up top, our swimmer confirmed that the sea was still rather cold...

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