Godin and Longue Pierre, The Humps, Herm

11 May 2011

The Guernsey Seabird Team made its first trip out, via Dave Perrio, to monitor the breeding seabirds on The Humps (a small collection of tiny islets north of Herm) yesterday afternoon. Chris Mourant, Michelle Hooper, & Catherine and Paul Veron comprised the team for this trip. To minimise disturbance to the breeding seabirds, visits during the seabird breeding season to these islets are not allowed except with permission for the annual Seabird Monitoring Programme. We landed briefly on two of the islets to monitor the breeding Cormorants.  The first landing was on Godin, where it was obvious that the Cormorants had bred both early and successfully. Around 25 active nests were counted, and 60+ chicks observed (one of the most successful seasons seen). However, many of the chicks were very large, some had actually fledged...which is remarkably early for Guernsey! 23 Cormorant and one Shag chicks were ringed.

Last year the Cormorant colony split with just under half the birds nesting on nearby Longue Pierre, but this year all the birds are once again on Godin. Most of the Shag are nesting on Longue Pierre this year. It does not look like a "bumper year" for this species, but again it is an early season. 44 Shag chicks were ringed, which is many more than would normally be expected on such an early visit. c 40 Shag nests were counted on Longue Pierre and 15 nests on Godin.

Although we did not actively search for them, few Common Guillemots were seen on Godin. By contrast Longue Pierre looked very good with the usual sites occupied by birds incubating eggs. One adult Common Guillemot was ringed. A Razorbill was seen to leave a rock crevice on Longue Pierre, and there was one Puffin in the water offshore.

All in all this was a very interesting trip, with evidence of a remarkably early and successful season for the Cormorants on Godin, and a good number of Shags well advanced in their 2011 breeding season too on Longue Pierre.

We are grateful to Dave for fitting in this trip in his busy schedule.








12 May 2011