Sunday 10 August 2014

Local Birding and French Kittiwakes in Devon

I have been enjoying finally spending some time at home over the last week and getting out birding locally. Notable birds for the time of year on the local patch have included:

Common Eider - Eclipse drake 4th August until at least 8th August west of Budleigh Cliffs
Sanderling - one moulting ad on rocks off Otter Head 9th August
Teal - a single bird on the Otter 9th August

More interesting however was the recent information I received back on a number of colour-ringed Kittiwakes that I saw with the Mrs whilst carrying out productivity surveys at the Kittiwake colony at Straight Point. This colony is the most important Kittiwake colony in Devon with over 160 nests and has been closely monitored by the RSPB since 2013 because of the recent national decline in Kittiwake productivity. Whilst carrying out the surveys, I noticed a colour ringed bird in the colony on 30th July, followed by another 3 colour-ringed birds on 4th August. All 4 birds were ringed in Brittany in the Finistère region. The birds consisted of an adult, a 2CY and most interestingly, two 1st year birds that only left the French colony during the last week of July before ending up at Exmouth 8 and 12 days later!

This year productivity at Straight Point has been 0.67 chicks fledged per pair which is pretty good for Kittiwake.

1st year Kittiwake (colour-ringed) photographed at Straight Point Exmouth 4th August. Ringed in Finistère, Brittany, France and fledged on 20/07/2014, last seen in it's natal colony on 23/07/2014.

Common Eider - Eclipse drake 4th August west of Budleigh Cliffs 

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