Thursday, 12 July 2018

Common Sandpipers

This is the time of year when Common Sandpipers start to pass through but none on the blog so far so four at Monkstone Point  yesterday evening are worth a mention.

We went out to look at Kittiwakes on St Margarets - a mixed picture.  In one sub colony on the North side still 17 birds apparently incubating but only 11 chicks - form around 53nests.  In early June there did seem to be a lot of birds just hanging about and not doing much but it now looks like only half the birds have tried to breed this year.  HOWEVER on the western side there were 18 chicks in a much smaller sub colony and we also noted that nearly all the auks had gone from the western cliffs but rather few from the northern ones.  I wonder whats going on - why should the western birds be that much earlier and more successful?

There seemed to be a lot of young Herring Gulls on the water and around the cliffs and a lot of fledgling (or ready to fledge) Cormorants.  Sort of ties in with our earlier ringing expeditions where we found lots of young gulls in the colonies - a good year around Caldey at least.