Tuesday 13 April 2021

A day on Looe island. 12th April 2021.

Bar tailed Godwit

Well it's been well over a year since I visited Looe island for one of our monthly Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust seal surveys. Initially the weather was an issue then Covid-19 kicked in and we've all been in lockdown.

So it was great to finally get on the boat again, sadly only 6 of us and not the usual 12 but Dave Butters got us out there and kept us dry!

We were met at the brand new jetty by Jon & Claire the Cornwall Wildlife Trust wardens and welcomed ashore.


All masked up on Dave's boat as we leave West Looe

All ashore from the new jetty

What a great addition to the island

I seem to photograph this sign every time I'm here...can't resist!

During the day we recorded a maximum of 6 grey seals and numerous birds. 


5 Grey seals hauled out


The cormorants were well advanced with several pairs having large youngsters in the nest and a count of almost 50 active nests.

Cormorant pair with 2 large offspring

Cormorants sitting on nests


The Oystercatchers  have started forming their "scrape" nests but we saw no sign of any eggs although it won't be long. There were lots of active pairs dotted around the island.

Oystercatcher with a very stubby bill

Another cracking bird we spotted was a Bar-tailed Godwit, a single individual and an unusual bird for the island, almost certainly on its spring migration north.

Bar tailed Godwit

We didn't have it all nice and comfortable as the rain and winds did their best to make life a wee bit uncomfortable in the morning when trying to search for seals into a North westerly.

I was forced at one point to lie down behind a rock for shelter, fortunately it was a well hollowed out shelter as I think the islands sheep had used the spot before!

Yours truly sheltering from the weather

There is a pair of Ravens nesting near to the original cormorant colony so most of the cormorants have now moved around the corner to nest, leaving just a few nests alongside a Shag nest and a couple of courting Fulmars.



Shag at its nest

The Herring Gull numbers on the island seemed to be much the same as other years but the Great Black-backed Gulls looked to be severely depleted from previous surveys. There were no nests on the South Western slopes and all pairs seemed to be on the spit of land near the house that looks to the South East.

Herring Gull


Derek Spooner said...

Lovely succinct account with great photos. A reminder of a beautiful day

Bird Control Oklahoma said...

Hi nice readingg your post