Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Island of Gulls

Last week started with gulls on Monday and, via some swallows and no blackbirds, finished with gulls on Sunday. Indeed the day of rest marked our annual trip to Gull Island, sometimes referred to as Flat Holm; a place where gulls caw and ringers get covered in shit.

As always the expedition was ably led by Brian Bailey and Maurice Durham (with Facey bringing up the rear) which had one aim; to induct 100 of its nestling Lesser Black-backed Gulls into the Scheme followed by the annual cliff scrabble to round up a few Herring Gull chicks (11 this year). It also marked the handing over of the hallowed ringing book to us; yes we now are Flat Holm Ringers too! So watch this space for more island adventures.

Unlike last year we were just day trippers as the island has some water problems. An over night stay therefore wasn't possible and neither was a visit to the Gull and Leek. Shame! But we did get to and from the island in what can only be described as style...

Where as Master Roo is a one time island veteran of the nest count, Pliers Morris and Twinkle Toes Hallam were Flat Holm virgins, having never set foot on the Rock. Judging by the feedback they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They even want to go back for gulls next year.. takes all sorts don't it.

Facey's Angels; his lads did well.

Master Roo; Gull Whisperer
Yes, its a pink helmet. Stop giggling like that.

The Ultimate Gull Team their ringer in charge licked them in to shape. Not
literally as they were covered in gull crap. Apparently it would have also been inappropriate.

There did seem to be fewer gulls around this year and ringable birds were hard
to find. Several nests still had eggs, some were hatching and others contained
these cuties. Come on, they are cute.

Facey of Flat Holm optimistically looks out to sea. The running commentary:
Gull, gull, gull. Ooo! Cormorant! Gull, gull, gull, gull, wait... oh no gull.

Thanks to the Island Staff for having us along.

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