Friday 11 December 2009

Seabird Breeding Season 2009

At last a good year for Kittiwakes

Sandwich Terns galore

A brilliant season for Shags

Record numbers now breeding - Guillemots galore

Friday 11th December comments:
The 2009 breeding season on the Farnes was one of the best in modern history and overall productivity revealed ‘best returns’ for several species in over a decade or more. The influencing factors during the year included the weather, remained settled throughout the breeding season whilst food supply was excellent, verging on brilliant. Sand-eels of good size and age were in abundance whilst the problematic Snake Pipe-fish was almost non-existence. Overall the season was excellent with very few complaints.

Seabird Breeding Figures 2009
Shelduck 1 pair
RB Merganser 1 pair
Eider 681 pairs
Fulmar 258 pairs
Cormorant 141 pairs
Shag 838 pairs
Oystercatcher 38 pairs
Ringed Plover 9 pairs
Kittiwake 3,699 pairs
Sandwich Tern 1,415 pairs
Common Tern 98 pairs
Arctic Tern 2,198 pairs
Guillemot 48,126 ind
Razorbill 332 pairs
Puffins 36,835 pairs
Swallow 1 pair
Rock Pipit 25 pairs
Pied Wagtail 6 pairs
Wren 1 pairs

Some shinning examples included:
Kittiwake – best productivity since 1996 – 702 chicks fledged from 593 nests (compared with 202 fledged chicks from 616 nests last year!)

Shag – best productivity since 1992 – 499 chicks fledged from 333 nests

2 pairs of Roseate Tern on Brownsman although sadly both failed. Away from the ‘norm’, Wrens bred for only second time, Red-breasted Merganser for fourth consecutive year and Swallows bred for first time since 1997.
So there you go - a good season and a repeat next year would do very nicely. As we departed the islands last weekend, we did notice that Shags had breeding crests and Eiders were displaying, as after all, its only three months before it all start again...


MinsmereMothMan said...

Great to hear everything did so well. Fingers crossed for Rosy success in 2010!

kezia said...

Brilliant year for you all well done , amazing news on the Kittiwakes and the Shags . Bet the swallows will return . I am determined to come over again next year and get those puffin pics so looks like preferred time will be on my way back from Loch Garten about 19/20th June , I so want pictures after last years camera failure !!! Congratulations all for the counting .