Godin  19 May 2007

Chris Mourant, Paul Veron and Catherine Kinnersly managed to land on Godin, the Humps on Saturday 19th May 2007 at 17.15 courtesy of Tara at Island Rib Tours.  A bumpy ride over in the rib, followed by a short row in the rib’s small dingy at the hands of Paul, landed us on Godin in one piece.  Working as a tight team we approached the Great Cormorant nests from the furthest eastern end and ringed our first few nestlings.  Many of the chicks were already very large, with adult feathers growing through their downy baby coats.  The team then worked round the shoreline clockwise, ensuring that no chicks made a run for the sea.  Occasionally we veered more onto the land but kept this to a minimum to limit disturbance.  A total of 21 Cormorant chicks were ringed with a few too large and mobile to catch and so left.  A couple of nests were too small to ring and the team decided to revisit in three weeks time.  Much later – even by a few days – and most of the Cormorant would have been uncatchable!

Only one European Shag nest was noted with very small young. Many sites normally occupied on Godin had no activity at all. We conjectured that the majority of shags could have refrained from breeding this year due to lack of food or poor hunting conditions caused by rough seas which had reduced visibility. This year, so far, looks even worse for shags than 2006, when some colonies only had half to two-thirds of the normal sites occupied, and when most pairs attempting breeding only raised one or two chicks.

A few gull nests were noted – Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed gulls and Herring Gull.  The Common Guillemots were again back on their breeding sites on the islet.

Returned to Guernsey by 18.30