Good English gannet news

This video is called Gannets at Bempton Cliffs. It also shows some guillemots and kittiwakes.

From the RSPB in Britain:

Shining a light on gannet numbers at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Last modified: 16 October 2012

Gannet numbers at RSPB Bempton Cliffs have soared in the last three years.

Research this summer has revealed that since 2009, there has been a remarkable rise of 40% in the number of birds breeding on the sheer chalk cliffs at the nature reserve between Bridlington and Filey, which is the UK’s largest mainland breeding gannet colony.

Previous surveys by RSPB staff and volunteers have shown a year-on-year growth since records began in 1969, when there were only 22 pairs at Bempton Cliffs.

But this year’s figures reveal there are now 11,061 breeding pairs, a leap of 3,202 pairs since the last survey in 2009.

The researchers also counted 798 non-breeding birds, which, when they are old enough to find mates, will add to the numbers which turn the cliffs into an amazing wildlife spectacle throughout spring and summer.

Assistant Warden David Aitken, who led the boat-based survey that recorded the figures, is thrilled that these spectacular birds are going from strength to strength.

“Gannets and some other seabirds can fly huge distances – sometimes as far as 600km round trips – in their search for food,” he said.

“This is one of the reasons why vital offshore Marine Protected Areas are needed to safeguard not just seabirds but also other sealife and the important areas where they feed.

“The RSPB’s fight to ensure adequate protection for our marine environment is hugely important. While gannets are on the increase at Bempton Cliffs, the fortunes of seabirds across the UK are mixed, with some suffering dramatic declines,” he added.

Gannets are only found breeding on the cliffs at Bempton, and not at nearby Flamborough or Filey, because the type of ledges and shelves on this part of the cliff face are just right for building safe, secure nests.”

In July, researchers discovered a bird on the nature reserve which had come all the way from Jersey.

“We have had birds from Bass Rock in Scotland before but never, to our knowledge, one from so far south,” said Dave. “As we learn more and more about Bempton’s amazing seabirds, we build up a more detailed picture of the actions that need to be taken to ensure a brighter future for our marine wildlife.”

The growing number of gannets in the colony is bringing an added bonus for photographers. This year, birds have gathered in ever-bigger numbers almost next to the cliff-top path and close to specially-built viewing platforms.

How you can help

The seas around the UK’s coasts are increasingly overfished, over-trafficked and over-developed, but crucially under-protected. Your support today will help safeguard our sea life.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that proposed offshore renewable energy developments in the English Channel have the potential to affect the foraging behaviour of northern gannets from Alderney in the Channel Islands. Read more here.

10 thoughts on “Good English gannet news

  1. Well done for Le Brocq nod, Frosty

    Thursday 07 February 2013

    I was glad to see that Peter Frost mentioned Norman Le Brocq (M Star February 5) as a former communist minister for Jersey.

    He also played a pivotal role in the fledgling resistance movement to the nazi occupation of 1940-5.

    He helped to shelter those on the run from the nazi and collaborationist authorities, produced anti-fascist propaganda, and was rewarded for his efforts by being given a gold watch from the Soviet Union.

    Many people see the Channel Islands as having been guilty of shameful lack of resistance to fascist occupation, if not outright collaboration, but some people like Le Brocq at least got due recognition for the roles they played throughout that time.

    The Communist Party can hold its head up high by acknowledging that one of its own helped resist fascism on British soil.

    Phil Brand

    London SW17


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  5. 14-08-2013 | Jan van Gent verlost van zwerfvuil

    Bij paal 21 op het strand van Texel werd kortgeleden een Jan van Gent aangetroffen. Deze zeevogel bleek verstrikt te zijn geraakt in een lang stuk oranje gekleurd touw. Omdat het touw om zijn nek en snavel gewikkeld zat, kon hij niet meer naar voedsel duiken en was het dier erg verzwakt en vermagerd. Gelukkig is het gelukt om het touw te verwijderen. Nu zwemt hij bij Ecomare in de vogelopvang om aan te sterken.

    Het is weer een treurig voorbeeld van de gevolgen van afval in de zee. Het vuil blijft jarenlang een bedreiging voor de flora en fauna in de zee. Jaarlijks sterven ontelbare vissen, vogels en zeezoogdieren.


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