Ramsey Island Bird update July 2015

Seabird counts

Guillemot – numbers had increased to their highest number ever at 4,403 individuals.

Razorbills – down slightly at 1,222 individuals but given they were the species hardest hit in this region by the 2013 winter storms it is perhaps not surprising.

Kittiwakes – fell to their lowest ever total of 127 nests.

Fulmars – up slightly on 2014 at 267 pairs.

Puffin – numbers on the North Bishop were the highest ever recorded with several spring counts of 55-60 individuals. None making landfall on Ramsey yet but again records of birds on low tide rocks near the sound attraction and decoy site.

Gulls, Shags and burrow nesting seabirds Manx shearwater and Storm petrel are all due for full surveys in 2016, but all were confirmed breeding in 2015.

Chough 7 pairs bred with 2 non breeding pairs holding territories and nest building. 17 young fledged – First fledglings were 12 days later than 2014 on 19 June. By end of June young had fledged from 5 nests with the other 2 pairs still holding territory but clearly having failed in their breeding attempt, probably in the unseasonal storms of early June. By early July family parties of chough were feeding all over the island.

Other birds

Although by early July we had not yet compiled the years’ breeding bird data, fledged wheatears, linnets, wrens and skylarks are in abundance.

Swallows – First young fledged on 6 July in the islands’ barns

House Martins – 8 pairs occupying nest boxes on the island farmhouse, with first broods due to fledge second week of July

Peregrine – 3 pairs bred, although one pair lost their eggs in the Force 10 storm in early May.

Kestrel – 1 pair still feeding young in nest at Aber Mawr as at 10 July.

Little Owl – Two pairs, seen daily from the island’s footpaths.

Buzzard – 2 nests on the east coast of Ramsey, 1 with two large chicks by 10 July, ready to fledge.

Migrant birds are few and far between at this time of year but 51 Red Kite over Carn Llundain on 9 June was unusual as was a Black Redstart on 9 July.