We always try to have two visits to the Killington BHG colony in Cumbria. On the first visit we aim to ring as many chicks as we can catch & then on the follow up visit we aim to ring an extra 100 chicks. We also take time out to check dead birds for rings (from visit 1) so that we can accurately record these in IPMR, before submitting to the BTO.
I was expecting to find quite a lot of dead chicks, however I was surprised to only retrieve 28 rings (out of 447 chicks ringed) and I’m fairly sure the whole island was checked for dead birds. Unlike last year we couldn’t walk onto the island, so had to wade through water to get onto the island – so I suspect this is also stopping the local foxes getting on there and feasting on the chicks!
80 chicks were darvicd during our first trip & we only retrieved 3 darvics on yesterday’s visit – so we’re rather looking forward to sightings of the other 77 away from the island! A bit optimistic maybe?!
Chris, Zac & Gillian did a sterling job of rounding up & ringing the chicks yesterday. 127 chicks were ringed, along with two adults making the daily total 130 – which now puts us on well over 600 new Black-headed Gulls for 2011……… now we wait for the recoveries!!