In 2012 the group began colour-ringing breeding Kitiwakes at Rinsey Cliffs and Trewavas Head as a RAS (Retrapping Adults for Survival) study. The project involves adding unique colour rings to birds at the colony and then monitoring the number that return in subsequent years to breed, giving an indication of over-winter survival.
|The Kittiwake colony at Rinsey Cliff, holding over 80 breeding pairs|
|Adults ringed||Chicks ringed||French birds
Kittiwake ringing and resighting totals at Rinsey Cliffs and Trewavas Head
|OWM GRR, a squatter seen on two dates at Rinsey Cliffs|
|Apparently Occupied Nests (AON)||33||84||6|
|Egg stage failure||5||6||0|
|Chick stage failure||2 (possibly 14)||11 (possibly 16)||2|
|Number fledged||7 (possibly 18)||13 (possibly 23)||4|
Breeding figures for Rinsey Cliffs in 2012
Mullion Island is part of the Mullion Cliff to Predannack Cliff SSSI/SAC. The cliffs and offshore islands support a diverse breeding seabird community including Great Black-backed Gull, Shag, Kittiwake, Razorbill, Fulmar, Guillemot and Cormorant.
In 2013 the group began monitoring breeding seabirds on Mullion Island, in conjunction with the National Trust and Falmouth Marine School. We will in particular focus on Cormorant and Great Black-backed Gull, colour-ringing both species. The work on Great Black-backed Gull will be an extension an existing project on Looe Island, whilst we will be colour-ringing Cormorant chicks to monitor dispersal of birds away from the island.
|Cormorant colour rings are orange with three letters, all starting T|
|TBB was the first sighting of one of our birds away from the island,|
seen at West Bexington, Dorset, in July 2014 (details here).
- Obtain basic population and productivity data on all breeding seabirds.
- Instigate a long-term monitoring program to record population changes.
- Attempt to confirm the presence/absence of rats and other vermin on the island.
- Assess the feasibility for further, more focussed studies. Some very interesting data has recently been gathered using geo-locaters on Lesser Black Backed Gulls, but Great Black Backed Gulls are less well studied.
- Action any feasible changes to enhance or protect seabird populations on the island.
- Undertake specific surveys to record eg Storm Petrel and Manx Shearwater.
Over new moon periods during the summer, we target the ringing of Storm Petrels at Hot Point at The Lizard. Although not breeding locally, these are presumably birds breeding as far away as Isles of Scilly and western France. Birds also pass through early in the summer en route to breeding sites in Ireland and western Scotland.
Over the years we've found that July is our busiest month for Storm Petrel ringing, summarised below.