Les Etacs and Ortac – 11 June 2006

Richard Keen took team up from Guernsey. Jamie Hooper, Michelle, Chris Mourant, Phil Atkinson, Catherine and me – with Dr Nik Van der Hauwert (surgeon who did my cartilage op and thus got me fit for the trip).

Several European Storm Petrels seen on passage from Guernsey.  It was a quiet overcast day. Landing was very easy – via dinghy on Les Etacs and direct jump off boat on Ortac. However, it was soon apparent that the visit would only be moderately successful – because of a combination of a relatively early visit (as dictated by tides) and a late breeding season in 2006.   
There were lots and lots of eggs and tiny chicks.   284 chicks ringed on Les Etacs plus one adult. Also two adult retraps –one caught in netting and one with ring half open.  Ortac = 113 chicks ringed. This rock was definitely later than Les Etacs.

398 Gannets ringed – but job only partially done. Will have to try to get back in a fortnight’s time. The visit did result in the release of at least 2 adults on Les Etacs and one on Ortac, which were snared in discarded fishing nylon.  Difficult to read rings on live adults although a few recoveries made from dead adults and a couple of live captures.