This week as we have lots of survey work to do and I'm getting to join in, I'm going to be writing a couple of the Daily Digests. Today I will talk about Gull ringing, which I will then be helping to do, and so will tell you all about my experiences in Tuesday's Daily Digest.
Aurelie Bohan, People and Wildlife Officer
On Monday morning Paul Veron will be coming up from Guernsey to Alderney. Paul, Anne-Isabelle and I will be heading over to Burhou to colour ring some of our Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
What is colour ringing? It is where you attach a plastic ring onto a bird's leg, these rings will have a different code of numbers and letters on them. Putting a ring onto a bird means that we can tell apart the different birds and see where they go and where they breed over the years.
Colour rings; the one on the right is from a Shag and the three on the right are from Gulls
People will look out for the colour rings on the birds and will report back about where they saw the bird, giving a location and the colour and code of the ring.
This helps to give lots of very important data about the life of the bird. The bird ringer, in charge of the project (for us this is Paul Veron) can then work out where the bird was born, where it has travelled and migrated to and how long the bird lives for.
This is a Lesser Black-backed Gull Tim saw on the garden wall of the Burhou cottage. Can you see the ring on the leg?
People will use binoculars to read the rings. Can you see what the code is on this ring?
It can be very interesting to see where some of our Gulls have gone to. Paul was over on Burhou in 2009 and put a black ring code 0.A9 onto a Lesser Black-backed Gull. He then got reports in the winter that this bird was in Portimao, Portugal. At the start of June, Tim saw this same Lesser Black-backed Gull back on Burhou. This bird is now nesting within 50 meters of where it hatched as a chick!
I have never been ringing before and am really excited to learn and be able to help out discover more about our Burhou birds. In tomorrow's Daily Digest I can tell you all about my experience.
Monday 10th June
Max 15 degrees / Min 13 degrees
Wind direction: Easterly 9mph
Today's Puffin Fact
A Puffin egg is incubated for 36 - 43 days before it hatches.
Claire studied biology at the University of Oxford, graduating in 2013. Her main focus became the ecology modules, leading to a dissertation on the effects non-native tree species can have on biodiversity. A year off included volunteering for the Wildlife Trust in the Scilly Isles and teaching English in China.
Claire then completed her MSc in Conservation at UCL. Her thesis looked at the policy and objectives surrounding a marine protected area in Jamaica, and research involved interviews with politicians, researchers and community members. Post-graduation Claire worked for a natural health charity as their campaign coordinator, gaining experience in article writing, social media and communications.