For many years Steve and Anna have organised an annual visit to St Margaret’s Island to census the seabirds and ring nestling cormorant and great black backed gulls. A few years ago it was possible to ring both species on the same trip but cormorants now nest much earlier, with the first young fledging by the end of May. On the other hand great black backed gulls are still mainly on eggs at this time.
Yesterday's trip produced a total of 130 cormorant chicks ringed. Timing was perfect with the largest ones not quite ready to fledge and the bulk at perfect age. There were still a few sitting on eggs and a few small chicks. Brood size was healthy with at least 2 to 3 in most nests and a few with four chicks.
The earliness and high productivity is surprising considering the cold, wet and windy April and early May.
A face that only a mother could love!
|It's best to keep your nose well back whilst ringing cormies|
Luckily, we can’t blog the smell!