Lots to do here on the island; as you might know our terns this year are running a little later than in past years, and later from the other Maine Coastal islands. We speculated from earlier observations that it could be due to a lack of good fish during courtship. Fish have continued to be unusual, in that we have a large variety of fish, some of which we have never seen terns carrying before.
So after post-tropical storm Arthur rolled through with over 60mph winds and torrential rain, it is sad to say that about a 3rd or more of our chicks didn’t make it through the storm and a few alcid burrows were flooded. Then after a week of nice weather, when everything was just getting back to normal, the next storm moved in and we were socked in with another storm and lost even more tern chicks. So as you might guess there was a lot to catch up in the colony after all the storms, but we didn’t lose hope and the strongest survived. Of the ones who made it, they did very well and we had our first of many arctic and common tern fledglings taking their first flight on July 20th!
As for our Alcids, all our puffins and guillemots are growing rapidly in their burrows. We have an increase in puffin and razorbill burrows this year and they seem to be doing well.
Recently we found an usual guillemot that had two black wing bars like a Pigeon Guillemot. We replaced the old, worn band on its leg and discovered that it was banded here on the island in 1998!
One last exciting thing that happened here on PMI was that MCINWR came out to the island and attached a nanotag to one of our razorbills! After banding it, Linda implanted the nanotag and the razorbill was put safely back into his burrow. Now we will be able to track “Percy” our razorbill (we needed to name it and it seemed fitting to name it after Julia’s 21 year old cat who was actually named after a Maine lobsterman!) wherever he goes. More on that soon!