Sunday, 21 June 2009

Attenborough gulls...

On Saturday morning a group of 7 of us met at Attenborough to ring the Black-headed Gull and Common Tern chicks. Many thanks to Graham, a NWT ranger, for the boat and all his help. It was a swift, smooth and successful operation with a total of 68 chicks ringed. We began by heading out to the island on the Clifton Pit where the Black-headed Gull colony is now quite substantial.
Here are Ruth and David on the first voyage and this was to be David's last outing with the group for some time. No, he wasn't put off by sea-sickness, early starts or gull vomit, he's off to Canada to study Weatern Sandpipers for 18 months. Best of luck David. You may even discover places where the midges are worse than Attenborough...As soon as we landed we were picking up chicks. Here's Nabegh with the first of 28 Black-headed Gull chicks ringed.
Many gulls were still incubating and we estimated that at least 30 nests still had eggs.
Kev earnt his breakfast by constantly circling the island in his not entirely watertight kayak, keeping an eye on proceedings from all angles and ensuring the safety of ringers and birds. As can be seen in the photo, the vegetation on the island has become fairly thick in patches and so we undoubtedly missed a few chicks that found good hiding places.

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