Crabby Beach, Alderney

10 June 2014

As I was in Alderney on works business on the morning of 10 June, I took the opportunity to stay over for the afternoon and to spend three hours recording gull colour rings on Crabby Beach. The gulls bathe and drink in the adjacent water-filled quarry, before dropping onto the beach to preen and rest. It provides an excellent opportunity to record gull colour rings, especially as many of the birds nesting on Burhou are in thick vegetation where their colour rings cannot be read.

During the afternoon there were never more than 120 gulls resting on the beach, but the turnover was pretty constant so that after three hours or so a reasonable number of gulls had been checked. The results were very rewarding with 60 Lesser Black-backed Gull reads and eight Herring Gulls.

The origins of these gulls are included in Appendix A. The highlights were 34 LBBGs ringed as nesting adults on Burhou from 2009-2014 observed, along with 19 LBBGs originally ringed as chicks on Burhou. Interestingly all but one of the six LBBGs ringed on Guernsey were, at that time, immature birds.

This session once again highlights the quality of the data that can be gathered for the gull research even in short periods at Crabby Beach, for the gulls using this beach are almost certainly local breeding birds from Burhou and the Alderney coastline.



12 June 2014