Friday, 23 June 2017

Veni, Vidi, Census

Common nest goes from 3 eggs to 3 chicks.

Dr. Chris Redfern, Miley and Shane with Percy the Short-Lived.
Last week we were delighted to host Paul Morrison and Dr. Chris Redfern from the UK as part of knowledge sharing within the EU LIFE Project. Paul oversees the conservation of a number of seabird species on the massively important Coquet Island. Coquet is the second largest Roseate tern colony in Europe. The island also supports over 12,800 puffins and many Eider ducks, Common and Arctic Terns. Following the success of the GLS monitors used on Black Guillemots here last season, a number of roseate terns were caught and fitted with their own monitors. Chris and Paul’s expertise were vital in fitting these loggers safely. These devices will track the birds migrations using incident sunlight to detect latitude and longitude. Hopefully we will have both these gentlemen back to recapture the study birds next year!

Roseate with GLS tag which will record its migration path.
We have recently completed our nest census which involves counting every tern nest on the island whether Common, Arctic or Roseate. The official numbers are 2085 Common nests, 1597 Roseate nests and 44 Arctic nests. A large proportion of these have hatched in the last week so the island is crawling with chicks. We have high hopes this year to fledge more Arctic chicks than previous years. We have therefore started patrolling the colony early in the morning to deter predators from taking eggs or chicks in the more exposed areas of the colony. Arctics nest here in very low numbers so don't have the mob mentality of their Common cousins. This means they are pushed to the edge of the colony and more exposed to predation.

The "If I can't see you" method of camouflage".

- SS

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic totals. The Roseate total is up yet again. Let's hope the weather holds up and the sandeels keep comingm