Jethou, Crevichon & Grande Fauconniere 16 June 2006

 

This was an all day visit – Jamie, Catherine and Paul.  We travelled over on the Jethou workboat. Good to see Tom – the gardener – the only member of the original crew from my first visits to Jethou in the late 1970s! 
We got dropped off on Crevichon an hour before high tide. It was obvious from outset that relatively few Shags were nesting. Many nests were not active. There were several with eggs or tiny chicks and a few with chicks large enough to ring. Most nests contained two young. Even the top boulders only had one chick large enough to ring. Gulls were not numerous but we were pleased to ring several Great Black-backed Gulls and a couple of Herring Gulls. A surprise was the fact that one of the three active egret nests had four young big enough to ring. The other two nests contained eggs. After some effort we managed to catch the four young as they clambered (prehistoric like) over the canopy of the small elders in which they nest. We colour-ringed these four birds.

A couple of Oystercatcher nests with eggs. Oystercatcher nest with three eggs and Ringed Plover nest with four eggs by boathouse! After a sandwich and a drink we completed a circuit of Jethou ringing every Shag we could find…few! The beach opposite Fauconniere had a collection of Shag nests under boulders – not seen in recent visits. With few shags to concentrate on we did spend a little time in search of gull chicks. Many were too small but we did find 23 Herring Gulls and six Lesser Black-backed Gulls along with another three Great Black-backed Gulls.  
 There were rafts of 4 Puffin on SW corner and 8 on SE (with 2 on Crevichon). We climbed up onto Grande Fauconniere after lunch. It was very very quiet! There were a few Shag nesting, but this is the emptiest I’ve ever seen the rock. We ringed another 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and noted that at least two pairs of Razorbill were nesting.  We also noticed a second Razorbill colony nesting on the lower rock.  We saw a Brown Rat running under a boulder.  The previous year we had seen a Brown Rat on Crevichon, while a Herring Gull chick regurgitated a young rat on mainland Jethou.

We attempted to catch adult Northern Fulmars on nest ledges with two unsuccessful attempts and one successful but this bird was ringed already – D3342 (Jamie and Catherine had ringed it as a nesting adult on 31st May 2002.  We checked the Manx Shearwater burrows on Jethou after, but no sign of activity and the vegetation was quite long. No rabbits were seen during the visit.  There were lots of introduced Red-legged Partridges on the island.
 Totals ringed: -
 Shag (90), Great Black-backed Gull (15), Lesser Black-backed Gulls (7), Herring Gulls (23),  Little Egrets (4).