17 August 2012

Celtic Kittiwakes update

Following the recent story on Cornish Kittiwakes, we've just heard back from Jean-Yves Monnat in France who originally ringed these birds.

All seven of the Cornish birds were originally ringed in the colony at Pointe du Raz, a series of steep cliffs in Brittany. All were ringed as chicks, in 2002, 2006, 2007 (two birds) and 2008 (two birds), and one other bird that had lost a colour ring can't be traced.

View Celtic Kittiwakes in a larger map

The most interesting of these though was Y,N,M-O,B,B (Paris FX18178). It was hatched and ringed in 2006 and seen annually in the colony since 2008: seven times in 2008, 13 times in 2009, 10 times in 2010, twice in 2011 and incredibly six times in 2012. It is likely that this bird tried to establish itself in its natal colony up to 2010 and then switched to breed in another area (Cornwall?) in 2011. In 2012 it was seen at Rinsey Cliffs seven times between 29th June and 20th July though didn't appear to be breeding. It was then seen on six consecutive days from 3rd August at a colony at Pointe du Van Cl├ęden.

Another interesting bird is O,W,M-G,R,R (Paris FX18721), photographed above at Rinsey Cliffs. This was hatched and ringed at Pointe du Raz in 2007 and has been seen back there just twice, squatting a nest on 2nd June 2009 and 29th June 2011. It is likely that although this bird is still occasionally visiting its natal area, it's also actively trying to establish in another area.

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