Rottumerplaat desert island birds, wardens’ report


This video shows black-headed gulls trying to catch flying ants, on 12 July 2014 on Rottumerplaat desert island in the Netherlands.

Wardens Bart Ebbinge and Doortje Dallmeijer of Rottumerplaat have published yesterday their final report of this nesting season about the island’s birds.

This year, at least 17, probably more, young barn swallows have fledged.

On 2 August, hundreds of black-headed gulls and scores of common gulls feasted on the flying ants which left their nests then.

Eight young marsh harriers fledged this summer on Rottumerplaat. Their parents had fed them mainly young rabbits, young herring gulls and young lesser black-backed gulls, and some meadow pipits and starlings.

There were 59 spoonbill nests in 2015. By reading rings, the wardens found out scores of spoonbills had migrated from Schiermonnikoog to the Rottumerplaat colony; and also some birds originally from Germany and Terschelling.

Over nine hundred eider ducks nested this year on the desert island, with about 80% of the nests being succesful.

There were about 1200 herring gull nests and 3050 lesser black-backed gull nests this year.

On the Schild sandbank, east of Rottumerplaat, 400 adult and 300 young common seals were counted. This year, one dead young seal and two dead adult seals were found: comparatively, not many. Once, there was a dead harbour porpoise.

Just before the wardens left the island, they saw a kingfisher. Only the third time ever for this species on Rottumerplaat.

48 thoughts on “Rottumerplaat desert island birds, wardens’ report

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