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No VB's nor FB's today. 6 PG's hanging out together and apart quite a distance from shore. No 'fish in beak'. Some "flirty flying" activity. Weather was spectacularly wonderful and there were no disturbances to note. A good deal of bluff near last year's active burrow has sluffed off, but 3 burrows close by remain intact.
No activity to burrows this morning. No disturbances. 7 PG's enjoying hanging out together in pairs at times, at times ALL taking to flight together for the pure fun of it! They not only are positioned some of the time in front of last year's active burrow, but farther west toward Rolling Hills (not that far, just around the corner)where what appears to be fresh guano was observed after the 1st hour. A 'fish in beak' MAY HAVE BEEN DELIVERED IN THIS AREA THE 1ST HOUR BUT WAS OUT OF SIGHT AND CANNOT BE CONFIRMED. Weather started out with short period of rain and then became clear & calm.
No VB or FB during hour. No disturbances. Very calm morning with good visibility and GB's were always well accounted for and never observed fish in beaks.
OFF THE RECORD - Remained in this area for another 30 mins as all 6 birds were there. I observed possible activity to burrow around the corner, out of sight during that time and then again possible burrow activity back at original burrows during 2nd hour. 1 GROUP OF GUILLEMOTS WITH ACTIVE BURROWS OUT OF SIGHT FROM EACH OTHER IT WOULD APPEAR.
disturbance - Eagle Disturbance (0720 - 0740)
It's a little more subtle of a reaction to the eagle in the tree...he,she, sometimes they hang out there on a regular basis. The eagle appeared around o720 until 0740 or later and, although another fish (gunnel)was observed in beak, it was not delivered to burrow.
I'm attempting to determine if there are other active burrows 'around the corner', out of site from burrow #1. So after my official hour I spend time walking the entire area, continually keeping track of the colony and any disturbances, activity of any kind. The eagle remained in the tree and was still there when I left after 0915, 2 fish in beaks in front of burrow #1 with no deliveries. The major disturbance at this colony.
disturbance - Eagle(s) Disturbance (0713 - 0800 and beyond)
It always seems to be much more subtle when the eagles arrive to perch in their favorite tree. The Guillemots slowly remove themselves from close in and, if holding a fish in beak...just "hold that thought" for as long as it takes farther out in the cove.
disturbance - Eagle in tree above (0655 - 0702)
Impact seems to always be more subtle - in this instance Guillemot just waits, with fish in beak, until the coast is clear just below the burrow. 3 FB during the hour - the last with an escort!
Despite the fact a 32' boat had gone aground the day previous in Penn Cove, leaking diesel fuel 50 yards or so from our colony's bluff, the Guillemots appeared very normal, actually more relaxed, social and active. 4 FB were observed as well as a gathering of most of the colony atop a large rock prior to the tide washing away their gathering spot. An increase in bird count to 10 - not just passing through, but appearing as part of the clan!
After oil spill at Monroe's Landing Tuesday 7/26, almost 1 week previous, all appears normal and, although not observed during 'the hour', fish was observed in beak and yet not delivered in following moments. Eagle's presence seemed to prevent, delay the FB. Diesel smell still somewhat detected. 9 birds counted at colony and still a very tight, fun loving family!
5 adult Guillemots enjoyed relaxing together with what appeared to be no responsibilities. At one point, but too far away with my binoculars, one bird, maybe two- hanging out together- appeared lighter, more mottled and would make sense to be juveniles. Sorry...so vague and not scientific! If they were newly fledged chicks...then there were 7 birds total.
5 Guillemots hanging out far out in Penn Cove away from the burrows. No FB's, no fish in mouth. It's obvious to me, and behavior shows that the chick, chicks have fledged. Very foggy this morning, poor visibility and choppy water.