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This page is run by volunteer contributors as a source of news for everyone interested in the birds of Lundy, in the Bristol Channel, UK.
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Saturday, 13 June 2015

12/6/15 Puffin with fish!

Friday 12th June started with cloud and a North-Easterly breeze. St Philip's Stone was relatively sheltered, just the occasional cat's paw on the flat sea. I must have been around low tide and small groups of Guillemots stood on rocks near the sea. Other scattered auks rafted on the increasing clear blue sea. Three to four Gannets patrolled in the distance.

This was my first trip to my Guillemot survey ledge for 5 days. When I'd last visited on Sunday 7th June there were potentially 15 birds sitting on eggs. Some of them have had egg since 13th May so I was expecting them to start hatching any day. One Guillemot joined other birds the ledge at 06:35am while I was setting-up the video camera. By the time that I'd trained the telescope on the ledge, there were 32 birds sitting, preening, flapping and jostling.

Small changes in behaviour were encouraging. Most incubating birds were hunched forward over their eggs, but the adult on site E was more upright and it had its head down as if it were looking at an egg or a chick. Guillemots regularly turn their egg to ensure an even incubation temperature, and this happens frequently when an the chick is trying to break free from its shell. Guillemot chicks and their parents also call to each other during hatching. The chick learns to recognise its parents distinctive calls at this time.

06:48am. The pair of birds at site M were mandibulating a large piece of eggshell. They'd lost their egg last week, so it could have been an eggshell from a neighbouring pair: either from site N to their right, or from sites C, D or E above them. The adult at site N was sitting with drooping wings, which can be a sign that the bird has something precious that it wants to protect. This also happens when they first lay their egg, and an adult with one wing drooped can be brooding a chick under that wing.

06:51am Pair JJ mating, usually a sign that they have no egg.

06:53am While watching the site N adult, I saw disturbance its right-wing secondary feathers. This could be head movement from a brooded chick.

06:55am Similar movement to left-wing secondary feathers of site O adult.

06:57am Site N chick seen. Initially just its beak (with egg tooth visible) was seen under the adult. To mark the 50th anniversary of the Landmark Trust, I'm naimg this year's chicks after Landmark Trust properties. Chick N will be "Nicolle", after Nicolle Tower in Jersey

07:02am Site D adult interacting with its egg or chick. Site E adult droop-winged.

07:03am Site D adult "tenting" - this is were the adult stands and partially opens its wings to protect an egg or chick. Tenting is often seen when an adult is attempting to feed a chick.

07:08am Eggshell seen under adult E.

07:09am Site E, chick under left wing?

D and O adults interacting with their eggs or chicks

Eggshell under adult D

07:14am adult flew into site E with a fish. Chick E "Elton" fed out of view.

07:20am Site O, chick under right wing?

07:24am B adult interacting with egg or chick

07:26am Nicolle seen. Site D chick? movement of adult's right wing

07:28am Adult flew into site N with a fish. Nicolle not hungry.

07:29am More eggshell under adult D

07:48am Site G egg seen

07:55am Adult flew into site S without a fish. One of the site E adults flew out after 41 minute on the ledge.

07:58am Site F egg seen

08:00am adult flew into site O with fish. Chick O "Obriss" fed out of view.

08:02am Puffin landed on the next headland (Seabird Colony Register F5) with fish in its beak and went into a burrow. This is the first reported feed of the year.

08:23am 11 puffins on SCR F5, and 16 puffins on SCR F4

My laptop is broken so I haven't been able to process the video. I'll post some pictures when it's fixed.

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