A day dominated by maintenance around our field centre was interrupted by the presence of a Hippolais Warbler amongst the shrubs and bushes in front of the obs. The bird showed very well at close quarters and had an obvious primary projection but I could not see a wing panel. Probably Icterine but I couldn’t be sure. Leaving the bird for a couple of minutes to get my bins I could not relocate it on my return. May be it will be in the nets in the morning !
Ok finally got round to reporting day 3 of our seabird ringing, on Coque Lihou:
If you look closely at the below photo you can see some of the research team (yellow hard hats) having landed and then climbed to the vegetation line. From here we set off around the rock searching for Auks, Gulls and Shags, we were fortunate to find some of each.
Some excellent work from the researchers locating Guillemots and Razorbill nests enabled the best ringing return for auks since 1953, this year 23 birds were ringed, adults and chicks of both species.
The ongoing seabird research on Alderney is executed annually by a dedicated team with very special skills and knowledge that I was lucky enough to soak up over three magnificent days. The Gannet research on Alderney is leading the world, record breaking information is currently being transmitted to us via the GPS tags fitted to the adult Gannets. Ultimately this is educating us and providing a better understanding of these superb birds that they may be best protected, and that visitors to Alderney may have the opportunity to enjoy and admire them for generations to come.
Special thanks to Roland Guavian for his boatmanship skills that enabled us all to get on and off the rocks safely 3 days running ! And to Bugsy our boat skipper whose knowledge local sea state and tides afforded us enough time on the rocks to complete our work.
Next year will see the opportunity for more ringers and researchers to take part in our seabird ringing program and stay at the Observatory. This coming Saturday new ringers are joining us from the UK to help ring our Lesser black backed Gull colony on Burou. At the end of the month we are back to the boat for a weekend Storm Petrel ringing. I hope to be setting out dates and seabird ringing opportunities for 2017 on this site next month.