Dear Colleague

Welcome back to the Summer Term! A lot has been happening on Burhou since we last wrote. Regular readers of the Daily Digest will be aware that the first Puffin was seen returning to the burrow clutching fish in its beak. Now it is only a matter of days now before this sight becomes a regular occurrence!

Whitsun was a very busy time for the Alderney Wildlife Trust as many visitors from the mainland flocked to the island to take part in the island’s Wildlife Week. All the Trust’s staff took part in the fun activities designed to raise awareness about environmental issues.

Seabirds and Seal boat tours, night trips, foraging expeditions on land and Kayaking rides were amongst the planned events. A full report about the week can be found on the Daily Digest.

Seabird Update

Vicky and Tim attaching a tag to a Lesser Black-backed Gull

Vicky and Tim attaching a tag to a Lesser Black-backed Gull

Over the past couple of weeks the Daily Digests have often looked at the Shag tagging project. But this week we are extending this program into Gulls and Gannets, so here is a quick explanation of the project. Victoria Warwick-Evans is a PhD student at the University of Liverpool who is studying Seabird foraging and breeding patterns around Alderney - with particular reference to the proposed tidal renewable energy plants that are to be put in place around Alderney.

To add to observational data and productivity values for these species, a GPS tagging study produces data on flight paths (and height, depth and speed on some tags) that allows Vicky to analyse the birds behaviour before the tidal plants are put in and to see any changes in their behaviour after they are built.

The work on the Gulls and Gannets coincides with the Guernsey ringing project on these species so that we can continue retrieving data on the habits of these species in an environment of human activities, such as renewable energy, pollution and fishing.

Due to the time demand of this project Tim will be on Burhou and Les Etacs for the early part of next week. But the Daily Digests will still be produced as Aurelie will continue to describe the life of our Seabirds and the ecology team.

Resources Update

Many thanks for all the feedback we have received about how you are using the project resources in the classroom. To support your work further new resources will be added over the coming 7 days. These include:

A set of Alderney Fauna and Flora photos plus accompanying notes

Protect our wildlife – More resources and activities about the threat polyisobutene (PIB) poses to our marine life.
Alderney Weather data for May 2013

And please don’t forget!

If you have created any Teaching & Learning resources that have worked well e-mail them to us so we can post them on the project website for others to view and use.

Our Travelling Puffins – What is happening in our project schools

Our two Travelling Puffins, Barry and Cousteau, are having a great time on their adventures visiting schools in the project. We’ve got some great work back from schools so far and are looking forward to more to come! Please remember these Puffins have a long way to go! If you could email Aurelie to let her know one of the Travelling Puffins has arrived at your school, take some photos with your school and the Puffin and then send him on his travels within a few days.

Website Update – The Travelling Puffins

The new Travelling Puffins section can be found through the School Zone menu. In here, you can keep up to date with the latest adventures of Barry and Cousteau! We'll be posting up all the fantastic work and photographs we continue to receive back from the schools they have visited on their travels, so please check in here regularly.

June Flashmeeting Dates

Thursday 13th June 1030 – 1200
Friday 21st June 1000 – 1130
Thursday 24th June Activity Day – these links will be sent with separate information about Activity Day
Friday 5th July 1000 – 1130

Puffin Activity Day 2 – Thursday June 24th

We really loved the first Activity Day and got back lots of really positive comments from teachers and pupils, so we’re going to do it again. The next Activity Day will be on Thursday 24th June and the theme this time will be Pufflings. It will again be focused around act tasks on the day. We will email round more details about the day, and if you have any suggestions we’d love to hear them, just email Aurelie.

Living Islands Live – A Puffin season on Burhou Staff Questionnaire

A big “Thank You” to everyone who has returned the staff questionnaire we circulated with Newsletter 6. Lot’s of positive comments and great ideas for future activities. If you have not had an opportunity to complete the survey (and honestly it does take just 5 minutes to do!) please complete and return it to us over the coming days.

A list of your ideas and suggestions for developing the project will be published in our next newsletter.

Date of next newsletter: - Friday 25th June 2013

Best wishes for the summer term and let’s all cross our fingers and hope that the weather improves!

Aurelie Bohan – Alderney Wildlife Trust, People and Wildlife Officer

Tim Morley – Alderney Wildlife Trust, Seabird Ecologist

Phil Bracegirdle – South East Grid for Learning Associates

Tim Hall - Living Islands: A Puffin Season on Burhou Web Manager