Lihoumel, Lihou Island

21 April 2012

Jamie and Mish Hooper had very kindly checked the small colony of Cormorants on Lihoumel on the 27th March, when nine active nests were counted (eight with eggs and one with two tennis ball sized young). Given this information, Chris Mourant, Mish Hooper, and Catherine & Paul Veron went over to Lihou at low tide on Saturday 21 April.

As we approached Lihoumel several adult Cormorants flew from the small colony and we saw two medium-sized young wandering at the edge of the nesting site. We encircled the small colony and rounded up the two chicks swiftly. These were in fact the only mobile chicks from the nine nests. Both were colour ringed, before we moved to the nests themselves where we ringed another five small youngsters which were large enough (just) to take both a metal and colour ring. Several of the nests still had only eggs or young that were only a few days old. Hopefully we’ll ring most of these chicks in another few weeks time.

This visit was a very quick one, so we did not census the Shag nests on the rock, although several were noted (all with eggs). Several pairs of Great Black-backed Gulls are also nesting on Lihoumel this year, although only one nest (containing two eggs) was noted.

Jamie Hooper has remained behind on Lihou erecting the fencing to help protect the nesting gulls and other seabirds from human disturbance this season. Hopefully this will encourage the vast majority of visitors to Lihou to abide by the signs requesting visitors to keep to the paths during the nesting season.


23 Aril 2012