Longue Pierre and Godin, The Humps

26 June 2011

Thanks to Dave Perrio a small team (Michelle Hooper, Chris Mourant and Paul Veron) was able to get out to Longue Pierre and Godin, The Humps for a very quick visit on Sunday 26 June to complete the seabird monitoring on these islets for 2011. We had planned to go the previous week, but the winds had been too strong and the sea too rough. It took about half an hour to motor around the back of Herm and reach Longue Pierre, where there were many fledged young Shag in the water surrounding the islet. There was still a low swell, which made landing tricky, but we were soon on the islet looking in particular for gull chicks.

With limited time we focused on looking through the mallow for Great Black-backed Gull chicks – finding four. Chris also managed to ring six Shags that were still in the nest. As we approached the islet we had seen four Puffins in the water, and a couple of razorbills flying up to the upright pillar rock. On the islet it was clear that Guillemots had been enjoying a successful season. We did not approach the two main nesting areas as there were lots of adults ashore with several chicks visible and calling amongst them. We estimated c 30 pairs had bred this year.

A Grey Seal was bobbing briefly behind the boast as we re-boarded for the short journey across to Godin, where we found a similar picture of many fledged young Shags and c 10 pairs of Guillemots with chicks. Only one Cormorant nest was still in use – containing three tiny young. Five Great Black-backed Gulls were colour ringed on Godin, where we also found a dead Great Black-backed Gull – Jersey E4778, which I had ringed on this very islet as a chick in June 1991 – just over 20 years ago. I was sad to find it dead, but pleased that it had had many breeding seasons in which to fledge young. I expect this successful gull had passed its genes onto several generations over its 20 year life.

By the time we left the islet it was time to get back to the harbour. Thanks again to Dave for his very valuable help in monitoring the seabirds on The Humps in 2011.


28 June 2011