Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Gann

Bee and I are now back on the mainland and will be in the area for a couple of weeks, so no more Skomer updates but we might be able to see bits of Pembrokeshire that we don't normally get to see.
Went to the Gann twice today, once in the morning and again in the afternoon. The tide was halfway in on the first visit and high on the second. The weather was crisp with showers and spells of sunshine (good rainbow weather). All quite nice really. Highlights were 2 pale bellied brents, 2 Goldeneye on the pools, a Red breasted Merganser in the bay alongside at least 3 Great Crested Grebes, 10+ Little Grebes on the pools, 4 Little Egrets (one of which was seen to catch a good size fish), good numbers of Oystercatchers and Curlews, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 5 Dunlin, some Lapwing, lots of Redshank, 1 Greenshank and 2 Snipe. 2 med gulls and 15+ Common Gulls were amongst the numerous black headed and Herring Gulls. A 1st winter Grey Wagtail was on the pools and there was a Firecrest, at least 1 Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff in the scrub next to the carpark.

One of the Curlews and one of the Oystercatchers had colour ring combinations which incl. coded rings. The Curlew had an ORANGE ring on the upper left leg and a BLACK coded ring on the upper right leg with 90 in white lettering and a metal ring on the lower right leg. The Oystercatcher had ORANGE over metal on the lower left leg and an ORANGE coded ring on the lower right leg with 10 in black letters on it. If anyone has seen similar ring combinations or knows the scheme or contact to report them to please get in touch via our work email address
I have reported them via the normal Euring reporting system (which takes ages) but cant find the schemes involved directly so any help is appreciated.

Oystercatcher with Orange CR on left leg. It kept standing on one leg, which was annoying!

 Another thing we noticed was the amount of disturbance caused by dogs at the site. When we got there a couple with 6 dogs walked along the beach and 2 of the dogs chased off ALL of the feeding birds from the mud. We had a long chat with the owners about why they should perhaps keep there dogs from doing such things and I think by the end they had started to take some of it in. One of the things they said was that they cause a brief disturbance, the birds go up and the birds come down. We explained that it is the cumulative effect of lots of people doing the same thing all day long, the cold weather and the energy costs to the birds of fleeing these threats which is the problem. Has anyone else noticed a similar problem at the Gann?

Ed Stubbings, Skomer Warden