Of course, as the Seabird Ecologist, Spring has only truly arrived for me when I see the first bird nests with eggs in them. This year the first eggs we have seen are in Gannet and Shag nests.
Firstly the Gannets. Once a week Vicky and I will go and monitor the Gannet colony on Les Etacs. We do this by sitting on the cliffs of Alderney and using our binoculars or telescope to see the Gannet nests more clearly.
Tim getting a good angle to watch the Gannets
We are watching the Gannets every week for Vicky's PhD project. Part of this project is a productivity study. This means that once a week we go and count the Gannet eggs and watch as they hatch and grow up, so then we will know how many chicks have been raised on Les Etacs this year. On Wednesday the 17th April we saw the first Gannet egg on Les Etacs and are very much looking forward to watching it hatch and grow over the coming months.
Vicky's project also studies Shags in a similar way. These birds nest on Burhou and on Saturday during a trip to the island Vicky and I counted 18 nests. 7 of these nests already had eggs in!
Tim and Vicky locate Shag nests on a map of Burhou
We are very excited to see the first signs of Spring here on Alderney and Burhou. But we would like to know what are the first signs of Spring where you live, and when did you first see or hear them this year? Post your answers in the comments below.