5 September 2016

26 Jun 16 – A trip to the Pentland Skerries

Following on from our recent trip to Swona today saw Colin, Brian and myself with some visiting RSPB staff heading for the Pentland Skerries. Again we were looking to retrieve and deploy geolocators. This time we only managed to retrieve four geolocators, all from Razorbills. We managed to deploy 13 geolocators, with three on Razorbills and ten on Puffins.

On the ringing side there were Herring Gull - 24 chicks, Lesser Black-backed Gull - three chicks, Puffin - 15 adult and 19 chicks, Razorbill – seven adult and 6 chicks, plus 5 retraps and Shag – one adult.

It was good to see that the Puffins were having a better year than last and a number of new burrows were found.
The number of shags about this year was quite disappointing however we did see a Shag with a Blue colour ring. This isn’t one of the birds from our colour ringing efforts so it will be interesting to see if we can find out anything about this bird.

When we got back Colin gave me some good news which now requires a bit of paperwork sorting out. More details to follow soon.

18 Jun16 – Seabirds on Swona

Today saw one of our annual seabird ringing trips to Swona and my first ringing session of the year.

The team consisted of Colin, Brian, Stan, Alison and me and the aim was to retrieve and deploy geolocators as well as ringing.

We were able to retrieve five geolocators from Razorbills who along with another 10 adults were fitted with new geolocators. The aim is to fit the geolocators and retrieve them a year later however the retrieved geolocators on this trip all came from birds that had them fitted two years ago so it will be interesting to see if the data can be retrieved and what it shows us.

In terms of ringing, we ringed Great Black-backed Gull - three chicks, Razorbill - three adults and 15 chicks plus an additional 12 retraps, Puffin – three adults and Shag two adults and 14 chicks. The Shags were also colour ringed.

Eight pairs of Great Skuas (Bonxies) were seen but there was no sign of any breeding terns this year.

We will hopefully pay another visit to Swona later in the summer to do the annual ringing of Fulmar chicks.