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
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