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111348 Puffins and other birds . . .

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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 17:16   #1
Michael Frankis
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Thumbs up 111348 Puffins and other birds . . .

The 2003 Farne Islands report is just out!

A full survey of the Puffin colony, the first for 10 years, revealed an unexpected 60% increase to 111,348 birds (55,674 pairs)

Some other totals
Guillemot (Common Murre): 42,338 birds (up from 38,000 last year)
Kittiwake: 5,192 pairs (up from 5,055 pairs last year)
Sandwich Tern: 1,999 pairs (up from 1,881 pairs last year)
Arctic Tern: 1,727 pairs (up from 1,301 pairs last year)
Shag: 1,678 pairs (up from 1,282 pairs last year)
Eider: 1,036 pairs (up from 997 pairs last year)
Razorbill: 222 pairs (up from 209 pairs last year)

Michael
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 17:24   #2
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Excellent news Michael.
I suspect prime Farne Island real estate has drawn most of the Firth of Forth's Sandwich terns -we get large postbreeding flocks roosting in the upper Forth but our Sandwich breeders have all gone as have the Roseates. How well have the Northumbrian Roseate terns done?
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 18:15   #3
Michael Frankis
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Hi Steve,

All the Roseates are on Coquet Island now, but a VERY encouraging 70 pairs there last year - up from just 30 pairs ten years ago, with most of the increase in the last 3 years

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Old Wednesday 19th May 2004, 22:04   #4
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Hi Michael,
How can the Farne Island report be so precise as to count 111348 individual birds?
When I was there I have never ever seen as much tooing and froing in my life.
Mind the same applies to these wader counts on The Wash in early autumn.Who actually counts 247317 knots instead of saying about 250,000.
Regards Tony
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Old Wednesday 19th May 2004, 22:08   #5
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Hi Tony,

They do it by counting occupied burrows, which gives the number of pairs - they can tell which are occupied by fresh scraping & droppings at the entrance. They have all summer to do it in. Even so, still a mammoth task, whihc I guess is why it hadn't been done for ten years

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Old Thursday 20th May 2004, 07:26   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Frankis
The 2003 Farne Islands report is just out!

A full survey of the Puffin colony, the first for 10 years, revealed an unexpected 60% increase to 111,348 birds (55,674 pairs)

Some other totals
Guillemot (Common Murre): 42,338 birds (up from 38,000 last year)
Kittiwake: 5,192 pairs (up from 5,055 pairs last year)
Sandwich Tern: 1,999 pairs (up from 1,881 pairs last year)
Arctic Tern: 1,727 pairs (up from 1,301 pairs last year)
Shag: 1,678 pairs (up from 1,282 pairs last year)
Eider: 1,036 pairs (up from 997 pairs last year)
Razorbill: 222 pairs (up from 209 pairs last year)

Michael
Good news!.
Also implies the food supply around the area ( small-fish stocks/sand eels) is in good health!.
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Old Thursday 20th May 2004, 22:18   #7
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Thanks,Michael,very reassuring to know that the numbers are increasing.
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2004, 21:00   #8
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Just got back from The Isle of May at the weekend where I helped catch and ring some Puffins.
Let me tell you now these little blighters are no cute and cuddly picture postcard birds that many of the tourists to the island think that they are.
I would go as far to say they are thugs, they bit,clawed and squaked so much the ringers soon had several cuts to their hands and elsewhere !! whilst handling them.
Their toes have very sharp claws which they use for digging their burrows with.
Also they are very tough little birds, whilst they came in to land many basicly crash landed and went into a series of somersaults to which they just ruffled their feathers and dissapeared down their burrows.
Needless to say after an afternoons ringing we never did Puffins again that week !!
110,000 thats frightening.
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Old Thursday 29th July 2004, 20:17   #9
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Farne Islands bird report

This is good news! After some doom and gloom news over certain seabird declines in the Seabird survey or non - breeding in Guillemots this year and further warnings over fish and plankton declines in the North sea due to possible global warming it is nice to see that there is still some cheer still to be had.

Christopher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Frankis
The 2003 Farne Islands report is just out!

A full survey of the Puffin colony, the first for 10 years, revealed an unexpected 60% increase to 111,348 birds (55,674 pairs)

Some other totals
Guillemot (Common Murre): 42,338 birds (up from 38,000 last year)
Kittiwake: 5,192 pairs (up from 5,055 pairs last year)
Sandwich Tern: 1,999 pairs (up from 1,881 pairs last year)
Arctic Tern: 1,727 pairs (up from 1,301 pairs last year)
Shag: 1,678 pairs (up from 1,282 pairs last year)
Eider: 1,036 pairs (up from 997 pairs last year)
Razorbill: 222 pairs (up from 209 pairs last year)

Michael
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Old Friday 30th July 2004, 20:15   #10
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According to the Independant today everything seabird wise is going down the pans in Scotland and elsewhere no Sandeels so what do we believe ?.
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Old Friday 30th July 2004, 20:46   #11
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Numbers on the Farnes this year are broadly similar to last year (some up a bit, some down a bit); less info on breeding success, but there seem to be a reasonable number of fledged tern chicks around, there doesn't appear to be a major food shortage around here. I gather the heavy rain last month caused some losses though.

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Old Friday 30th July 2004, 21:24   #12
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This links in to my question on a related thread (http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=20653) about whether there is any information about seabird breeding success away from the Northern Isles this year. The RSPB press release which sparked the Independent article only seems to refer to Orkney and Shetland, so maybe the real problems are limited to that area.
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Old Friday 30th July 2004, 22:59   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony.hetheringt
Hi Michael,
How can the Farne Island report be so precise as to count 111348 individual birds?
When I was there I have never ever seen as much tooing and froing in my life.
Mind the same applies to these wader counts on The Wash in early autumn.Who actually counts 247317 knots instead of saying about 250,000.
Regards Tony
I know that photos are sometimes used. Some counts appear like this when collated from a number of individuals ie. Lucky Fred saw c10,000 Dunlin on his patch, Bill saw c500 on his, John got 15 and poor Jimmy just one. Hence the count went in as 10,516.

JP
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Old Friday 30th July 2004, 23:11   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpoyner
Some counts appear like this when collated from a number of individuals ie. Lucky Fred saw c10,000 Dunlin on his patch, Bill saw c500 on his, John got 15 and poor Jimmy just one. Hence the count went in as 10,516.

JP
I remember seeing a report of one such Dunlin count which ended up as 9,999 . . .

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Old Wednesday 4th August 2004, 20:56   #15
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Seabird increase in the Farne Islands

Hello Michael,

This is very good news. But I have one question: does this increase represent breeding success, movement of birds between colonies or a bit of both?

Thank you.

Regards,


Christopher


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Frankis
The 2003 Farne Islands report is just out!

A full survey of the Puffin colony, the first for 10 years, revealed an unexpected 60% increase to 111,348 birds (55,674 pairs)

Some other totals
Guillemot (Common Murre): 42,338 birds (up from 38,000 last year)
Kittiwake: 5,192 pairs (up from 5,055 pairs last year)
Sandwich Tern: 1,999 pairs (up from 1,881 pairs last year)
Arctic Tern: 1,727 pairs (up from 1,301 pairs last year)
Shag: 1,678 pairs (up from 1,282 pairs last year)
Eider: 1,036 pairs (up from 997 pairs last year)
Razorbill: 222 pairs (up from 209 pairs last year)

Michael
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Old Thursday 5th August 2004, 20:32   #16
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Failed breeding in the North Sea

Hello Stuart,

I must admit the same thought occurred to me. There is another aspect of this which I find puzzling - the RSPB seems to be concentrating on Sand Eels and their decline. There is no mention of other fish declines. In the July 2004 edition of Birdwatching magazine Tim Birkhead, an Ornithologist, believes that the increase in Guillemots is due to an increase of Sprats caused by the decrease of Cod. Thus the North Sea failed breeding may be more complicated than just a fall in the number of Sand Eels. The RSPB also report increases in Common Terns and Sandwich Terns at their Langstone Harbour reserve. We also have the good news from the Farne Islands. All in all a mixed, if not confusing picture.

Regards,

Christopher

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartReeves
This links in to my question on a related thread (http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=20653) about whether there is any information about seabird breeding success away from the Northern Isles this year. The RSPB press release which sparked the Independent article only seems to refer to Orkney and Shetland, so maybe the real problems are limited to that area.
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