Latest Survey Shows Strong Seabird Colonies On Scilly

bird survey 2013 annetScilly’s seabird colonies are strong. Those are the initial findings from Seabird Recovery Project volunteers who have been counting numbers on some of the smaller islands.

Over the weekend they’ve counted 341 lesser black-backed gull nests on Gugh. That compares with 355 last year. Many are in the patch of grass, scrub and heath in the centre of the island.

Six volunteers surveyed shearwaters on St Helen’s and counted replies from 25 birds when a taped call was played down the burrows.

Dr Vickie Heaney says the numbers recorded were pleasing.

St Helen’s has been a real success story, says Vickie, following the clearance of rats 15 years ago. More and more birds are nesting there, including some new puffin burrows.

But she wants visitors to the island to keep their distance from the birds. Vickie says if you can hear birds flying overhead and making a lot of noise, you’re probably too close to their nests and you should go further down the beach.