Omptolle, Guernsey

15 June 2013

Chris Mourant, Phil Alexander and I met at the car park opposite Omptolle Islet, Bordeaux at 04.30 as there was only a very small tidal window to cross to the tidal islet today. The aim was to check on breeding success for Great Black-backed Gull (there are usually one or two pairs) along with Herring Gulls (usually c four to five pairs). As soon as the light was strong enough we crossed to the islet.

One GBBG nest was located (with two eggs) and one dead small GBBG chick was located elsewhere, so two pairs were breeding, but one had failed and the other was rather late. Four empty Herring Gull nests were located (none showing any signs of successful hatching), and one nest with two eggs was discovered.

All in all a rather disappointing visit, with only two gull nests remaining active, while the remainder had failed. This was reflected in the lack of dive bombing by adult birds during out 15 minutes on the islet.

Several pairs of Oystercatchers appeared to be breeding, and judging by the number of empty Limpet shells in one area there were probably some chicks hiding amongst the rocks.

A dead colour ringed adult Great Black-backed Gull was found on the grass. Its breast was covered in oil, the likely cause of death. It was Yellow 1.CC4, and adult ringed in May 2012 at Chouet Landfill.


Paul K Veron

16 June 2013