Lihou Island (Part 2)
08 July 2012
With the 2012 seabird breeding
season beginning to reach its conclusion, Jamie Hooper, Chris Mourant
and I took the opportunity before the current tidal window closes to
visit Lihou to conclude the monitoring of the gulls. As soon as we
crossed the causeway to the island we could see that we were about 10
days too late for an ideal visit. Quite a few fully grown Herring Gull
chicks could be seen perched up on large rocks and boulders on the
beaches on the eastern side of the island.
We walked out to the rocky knoll at the north-eastern tip. Chris and I
had covered the southern and western part of the island on our previous
visit on 22 June. From here we covered the coastline all the way back
to the causeway, as well as visiting Lissroy.
Surprisingly, given the persistently wet weather, the 2012 season
appears to have been a “better than average” season for
Herring Gull productivity on Lihou, with c 40 chicks seen along this
stretch of coast. Only 13 were ringed, as the remainder were well
capable of flight! In addition we found a Lesser Black-backed Gull
chick next to the path, and eight Great Black-backed Gull chicks (most
near to fledging).
The tiny Lesser Black-backed Gull colony on Lissroy contained at least
three well-grown fledglings (two of which were located and ringed), and
single Great Black-backed and Herring Gull chicks were also ringed on
Several Oystercatchers were clearly breeding on the sections of
coastline covered, but we didn’t see any chicks.
One adult Herring Gull suffering from botulism was picked up on Lissroy
and taken to the GSPCA Animal Shelter. As a reminder that the summer
(what summer?!) is advancing a couple of Redshanks were seen on Lihou,
some of the earliest of the migrants returning back south!
09 July 2012