Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Congratulations...It's a baby Shag.

I was very surprised today to observe the first Shag chicks on the reserve, poking out from under their parents' wings. Although they aren't the cutest of offspring, just grey furry lumps with a head, it was a delight to see the seabird breeding season getting under way. Hopefully these will be the first of many.

As part of my widlife monitoring duties, I observe the breeding activity of Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) at four particular plots every 7-10 days or so. This is to monitor their reproductive success over the season, which helps us to judge the health of the population.

About half of the nests at one of my plots had chicks today, while the other three had none as of yet. These chicks are three days earlier than last year so more evidence of this year's early season.

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