1 Jun 2016

First Puffin Island trip of 2016. Ring reading.

What a beautiful day to spend among the seabird colonies on Puffin Island. An advance part from SCAN & Liverpool University travelled to the Island to continue colour ringing Shags and try to record as many Razorbill ring numbers as possible. Last year we experimented with me photographing the rings in the field to ensure they were all read correctly. It worked pretty well so this trip I did the same again. The idea is to read as many rings and confirm them with photographs as part of the RAS (re-trapping adults for survival project) -see BTO website here.

The sun was shining and the birds were very active with gulls, auks and Shags all nesting or feeding young. Walking from the beach to the main colonies we came across numerous gulls nests with eggs or small young.
 Herring Gull nest with eggs 'chipping' - you can just see the egg tooth of the yang bird on the top left egg.

Most  Guillemots and Razorbills were o eggs but we did find a few small Razorbill chicks.

Photographing the Razorbill rings is frustrating but rewarding. I've found the best method is to sit quietly on top of the cliffs and let the birds come to me. However, a lot of the time they're suspicious and sit facing you so you can't see the ring number so a little patience is required in waiting until more birds arrive causing a bit of shuffling around. Star bird was the one that was ringed in 2000!
There are many distractions on Puffin Island and I couldn't resist a few photographs of Puffins, Razorbills and Shags.

1 comment :

John eos shooter said...

Amazing razorbill shot with prey! Gr. John