Early Seal Pups – Some of you will have noticed pups at Colomennod and Rhod Uchaf. Both these sites are known for early pups but this is unprecedented! The pup on Rhod Uchaf was born in the cave on 4 July and has now washed out onto the beach. This is 25 days earlier than the first pup on this site in 2015. More interesting still is that the mother of the pup (Ramsey Cow Number 118) has been known to seal researchers in Pembrokeshire since 2001, when she pupped on Skomer making her at least 20 years old. She is easily recognised by the distinctive scar on her lower back.
Storm Petrels – Although the inclement weather has put pay to our plans to survey Storm Petrels on the Bishops this year, we have been able to survey the breeding site on Ramsey’s west coast cliffs. ‘Stormies’ were first recorded breeding on Ramsey in 2008, following the rat eradication in 2000. A minimum of 10 pairs are now breeding on the west coast of Carn Llundain where birds nest in rock crevices.
GANNET CAM – The first of three field visits to Grassholm is complete, in partnership with our colleagues from Exeter University and a gannet researcher from Australia. Venture Jet landed them on Wednesday and got them off safely this morning. This year we are again fitting birds with video cameras, which in combination with a GPS tracker will give us a ‘3D’ insight into feeding behaviour. The very same cameras were successfully deployed on Australaisan gannets last year and some great still images from that study are shown below: