RSPB NATURE RESERVE
We wait until October to carry out this work as, by this time, most other chicks will have fledged and most of the adults will have gone, thus keeping disturbance down to a minimum as we have to walk through the colony to ensure we cover the whole area. In 2010 we cut free 53 juveniles and 3 adults birds.
often ask why we don't clear away the plastic. The answer is that there
is just too much of it, it would destroy the nests completely and
it would probably be back in the same quantities within a few years.
is a remote offshore island supporting 39,000 pairs of breeding gannets.
This is the third largest Atlantic gannet colony in the world, (behind
St Kilda and Bass Rock), supporting in the region of 10% of the entire
St. Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
As one of only 23 gannet colonies in the UK and Ireland, Grassholm is of both national and international importance. It is an outstanding seabird spectacle, unrivalled anywhere in Wales for this species.
Landing on Grassholm Island is not allowed but trips run offshore to Grassholm regularly.
On just a few days a year, wardens Greg and Lisa have the honour of landing on the island, one of the reasons was in July 2010. The following article is from the Ramsey blog journal written by Lisa on the 15th July:
Over the last two weeks we have been busy working out on Grassholm which lies 7 miles southwest of Ramsey. You might just have heard of this amazing, 9-hectare, piece of low-lying rock in the middle of the Irish sea. It is the oldest RSPB nature reserve in Wales and is home to nearly 10% of the world population of northern gannets. In fact at the last count, (don’t ask how we did it), we had 39, 292 pairs breeding on the island.
Greg and I have been working with the amazing seabird biologists from University of Plymouth to find out what our Grassholm gannets get up to when they are away from the island.
One exciting piece of
work that is currently underway looks at non-breeding gannets. They do
not have a nest site but do visit the colony in large numbers to visit
‘club sites’, a little like a youth club for teenage gannets. These
sub-adults can be anything from 2 years to 4 years old. As they are not
yet constrained to any one colony, they are able to range over wide
areas of ocean, visiting other gannetries and potentially putting
themselves in contact with a wide range of threats. RSPB
nature reserve based in St. Davids Pembrokeshire Wales
In the nine days since we deployed these devices, one of our birds has covered over 1,300km, it left Grassholm on 5 July, headed south around the tip of Cornwall and then travelled east along the English Channel. It is currently heading up into the North Sea. Will it really go anticlockwise right round the coast of the UK to get back to Grassholm?
It is vitally important that we find out more about the lives of these birds when they are away from the security of sites like Grassholm. RSPB Nature Reserves based in St. Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales