Gull Breeding Sites in the
Bailiwick of Guernsey
N.B. - This is not a
comprehensive list of gull nesting sites in the Bailiwick of
Guernsey. It covers most (but not all) of the main sites. It is focused
on those sites which are regularly visited for the purposes of studying
our gull populations.
Lying 5 km to the north of Alderney, Burhou is a low-lying island with
a rocky shoreline. It is approximately one km long by 0.5 km wide. It
is covered in low turf and bracken. Largely as a result of its
rich seabird colonies, Burhou is an integral part of Alderney's Ramsar
The gulls populations of the island in 2008 were:-
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1,001 pairs
Great Black-backed Gull c30 pairs
Burhou is now (by far) the largest colony of Lesser Black-backed Gull
in the Channel Islands. However, it appears to have undergone a rapid
expansion in the past decade. During Operation Seafarer (1969/70) the
population was 100 pairs. By the Seabird Colony Register (1985/88) this
had grown to 274 pairs. There then appeared a period of stability with
the Seabird 2000 count being 275 pairs. However, in 2005 a detailed
census gave a total of 1,001 pairs. This has fluctuated a little
between 972 pairs in 2006 and 923 pairs in 2007. The reasons for this
rapid growth are not known.
L'Etac de Serk
A small islet which lies a short distance from the southern end of
Little Sark. It is largely covered in coarse grasses with areas of sea
beet and mallow. Various seabirds nest there including European Shag,
Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Atlantic Puffin and small numbers of Great
Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed and herring gulls.
A small grass and rock covered islet adjacent to the southern end of
Little Sark. Herring Gulls (c30-40 pairs), Lesser Black-backed Gulls (c
30 pairs), Great Black-backed Gull (one pair).
Moie de Lache
A tiny islet just outside Creux Harbour in Big Sark. Herring
Gulls (c 15 pairs), Lesser Black-backed Gull (c 8 prs).
Rocky islet just outside Maseline Harbour, Big Sark. A few Lesser
Black-backed and Herring gulls.
Grande Moie's smaller sister rock - just outside Maseline harbour, Big
Sark. Few gulls.
Another small set of stacks - some with grassy turf - just off Creux
Harbour, Big Sark.
An important island for breeding Lesser Black-backed Gulls (c 380 prs),
Herring Gulls (80 - 110 prs) and Great Black-backed Gull (1-4 pairs).
A small island owned by the Crown and leased to private owners. Bracken
and woodland cover the higher ground, but there is little vegetation on
the low cliffs of the eastern side. Gulls nest around the coastline,
but also on Crevichon islet and (a few) on Grande Fauconniere islet.
Both islets are connected to Jethou at low tide Gull
populations = Herring Gull (c 170 prs), Lesser Black-backed Gull (30 -
50 prs), Great Black-backed Gull (30 - 40 prs).
Herm - The Humps
A small group of four islets to the north-east of Herm. Galeu has a little cover, a
storm beach and some higher rocks. Godin
is larger with a slightly elevated eastern end with some
vegetation (including mallow and sea beet) and a stony beach. Longue Pierre is similar to Godin
but is rockier, while Grande Amfroque
is the most outlying. It has no vegetation.
Overall gull populations are in the order of Herring Gull (35 - 75
prs), Lesser Black-backed Gull ( 30 - 55 prs),and Great Black-backed
Gull (22 - 37 prs).
The main gull nesting areas lie on the south coast, where the granite
cliffs rise to 70 metres. Herring Gull = c 1,200 pairs, Lesser
Black-backed Gull = c 100 - 120 prs) and Great Black-backed Gull
(30 -35 prs).
A small island which is owned by the Guernsey government, and run as an
open reserve (with seabird nesting areas closed during the
season). It is mostly covered in turk with areas of bracken, and has
several outlying rocky islets where seabirds breed. Gull populations =
Herring Gull (45-60 prs), Lesser Black-backed Gull (0-5 prs) and Great
Black-backed Gull (30-45 prs).
(from Pleinmont, Guernsey)