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Hi. My name is Tim Morley and I am the Alderney Wildlife Trust’s Ramsar Ecologist. This means I am the manager of our internationally important wetland site – called a Ramsar site.

The Ramsar site is located to the north and west of Alderney, covering Burhou, Les Etacs and Ortac

The Ramsar site is located to the north and west of Alderney, covering Burhou, Les Etacs and Ortac

As the map shows the islets of Burhou (where our puffins live and our cameras are), Les Etacs and Ortac are all in the Ramsar site. This means I will be spending most of the spring/summer working with and watching these birds. I get to do many exciting things in this job, including: catching birds to fit identifying rings or GPS tags, counting nests and watching chicks grow up, protecting our birds whilst breeding, rowing/driving a tender around Burhou and climbing rocks to get to see all the birds.

Tim piloting the tender around Burhou

Tim piloting the tender around Burhou

During this course I will tell you all about all these things, and many, many more, in much more detail. I will also bring you all the latest photos and videos from Alderney, Burhou and other islets as I go about my work as an ecologist.

I hope you enjoy the seabird season as much as we do, and I am looking forward to seeing you all take part in our work.

Tim and Vicky tagging a shag

Tim and Vicky tagging a shag

Hello, my name is Aurelie Bohan and I'm the AWT’s People & Wildlife Officer. My main role is to manage LIVE, this means setting up the cameras, thinking of fun things to investigate and make for Activity Days and making sure you get what you need from the project. I also do all the marine work for AWT, like surveying our shores and seeing what creatures are living there, and I help out with all our events and activities.

Aurelie wiring up PuffinCam

Aurelie wiring up PuffinCam

Although I have to spend time in the office I try to get out as much as possible. I love going to Burhou and helping Tim with his seabird work, Burhou is a really special place and it's really amazing to get a look into the world of the seabirds living over there. I love working near the sea, getting to learn more about our seas and spending time on Sula.

Aurelie rowing the tender

Aurelie rowing the tender

Tim and I are really excited to share our work with you and are really looking forward to seeing what we learn this year.

ECOLOGIST'S UPDATE

This year will be an interesting one for our seabird colonies, in particular our puffins. Many seabirds spend the winter on the open water, feeding and coping with the occasional storm. However, when storms continue for prolonged periods of time the birds cannot feed and begin to starve.

Unfortunately in February of this year a month of storms caused many seabirds to loose feeding opportunities and starve to death or drown in the usually large waves. The final number has not been determined but at least 30,000 birds died in this 'wreck' event across France, Spain, UK and Channel Islands; over half of them were puffins. For more details click here for the Alderney Wildlife Trust website.

In total 138 birds washed up dead on Alderney in 6 weeks (compared to a usual 12 birds in 12 months!).

In total 138 birds washed up dead on Alderney in 6 weeks (compared to a usual 12 birds in 12 months!).

As I am sure you all are as well, we are very concerned for the health of our puffins and wish them the best of luck this year. But the good news is that puffins have returned to Burhou (3 weeks later than usual) and we hope they have the energy to continue breeding as usual. We will keep you fully informed of their progress, but for now enjoy the video of their first foray on to land this year:

Puffin Return