24 May 2009

Calm weather and a window in the Island Rib Tour bookings enabled Chris Mourant, Catherine, Sophie and Paul Veron to make a quick visit to Godin from 13.30 to 14.15 on Sunday 24th May 2009.  This visit was about two weeks later than originally planned due to weather and boat availability.  However, it was very useful to make the visit and commence the 2009 seabird monitoring with such an enjoyable visit.

It was a lovely fast ride out on very calm seas.  No dingy, so direct landing in perfect conditions at very low water.    Chris, Sophie and Catherine headed up to the main Cormorant breeding area amongst the boulders at the highest point of the Islet, whilst Paul circled around the edge of the islet to corral any large wandering birds.  Chris and Catherine noted several large well feathered youngsters taking flight from the boulders at the head of Godin. 

Circa 12 Cormorant nests recorded, four still with eggs or tiny young.  Nine well grown Cormorant chicks ringed.

It was especially heartening to see 15 – 20 Shag nests, most with two or three small chicks giving our first indication that this species may enjoy some significant breeding success for the first time in three years.  Three small to medium sized Shag chicks were ringed.

Perhaps the most noticeable birds on the islet were the Great Black Backed Gulls with at least 30 pairs nesting, many with nests with three eggs including several where the chicks were just hatching out.  A few nests of Lesser Black Backed Gull and Herring Gull were noted.

Although the two areas where Guillemots often nest were not inspected, a flight of 14 adult Guillemots around Godin was observed.

The vegetation was particularly luxuriant which will make finding Great Black Backed Gull chicks later in the season a particular challenge!    A couple of Painted Lady butterflies were noticed – further examples of the significant invasion of this insect into Guernsey in the past 10 days.




24 May 2009