Omptolle and Albecq, Guernsey

25 June 2012

I met Chris Mourant at 0500 this morning for our annual early morning trip across to Omptolle, Bordeaux. It was a beautiful morning, dry, with very little wind and a beautiful rising sun. 

We spent 30 minutes walking around and over Omptolle in search of gull chicks. From the activity overhead there must have been at least three pairs of Great Black-backed Gulls and a similar number of Herring Gulls nesting on the islet this year, but we only managed to find two half-grown Great Black-backed Gull chicks and a single Herring Gull chick.

 The grass on the islet is particularly long this year. Although a pair of feral Greater White-fronted Geese was seen on the beach near the islet, no nest was found this year, and there was no sign of any goslings. At least two Oystercatcher nests were present.

 The remains of a Storm Petrel were found on the northern end of the island, probably predated by gulls – presumably at sea, because the likelihood of rats on Omptolle must make it an unattractive place for Storm Petrels to nest.

 Afterwards we drove down the west coast to check the single Great Black-backed Gull nest on rocks at Albecq. The female was sitting on the nest, which contained a single egg. This is rather late for such an incomplete clutch, and one assumes that the gull’s first nesting attempt failed, and this is a re-laid clutch. There were no signs of what may have predated the nest, but as this site is visible from the road and is easily accessible one cannot help but think that it may have been human predation.



25 June 2012