Crevichon, Jethou

31 May 2012

At 1645 Mishy’s brother, Robbie, took Chris Mourant, Phil Alexander, Michelle Hooper and me across to Crevichon in his small RIB. The weather was perfect with a slight to moderate sea and warm and dry, but overcast conditions. Once we got the little RIB on the plane, given the weight in the boat (!), we were soon landing on the shingle beach on the western end of Crevichon.

On this trip we confirmed out attention to checking the Little Egret nests in the elder trees in the quarry, but we noticed several nests of Herring Gull chicks which had hatched within a day or two. We also confirmed that the Shag chicks were at an ideal age for ringing, and while it did not look like a “bumper” year for Shag productivity there were certainly a number of nests with young that were now half grown.

In relation to the egrets, we saw two very advanced young, one of which took wing and flew to the beach. The other ran up the slope to the top of the islet, where I retrieved it and brought it back down to be colour ringed (Orange N Yellow 4), and replaced at the base of the elder trees. We counted nine egret nests, most still with eggs, although two nests with tiny chicks were observed. It is likely that this is not a total nest count, as limited time (to minimise disturbance) and extensive vegetation made it very difficult to see all the nests. It is also possible that some of the empty nests had been used by early broods, which had since fledged.

With the nest count complete, we returned to the shore, where Robbie picked us up. We were only on the islet for 30 minutes in total, and as we left the shore the adult egrets were already returning to their nests.

We did not count the gulls, but there did seem to be a good number of Great Black-backed Gulls over the islet, as well as a few Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A swift ride back to the QE11 marina saw us back in St Peter Port by 1750.

While only one young Little Egret was ringed on this trip, it was very good to be able to once again confirm successful breeding by this species on the protected islet of Crevichon, Jethou, and also to perform a minimum nest count of nine active nests.

01 June 2012