Saturday, 23 June 2012


Laurent Thebault and French colleagues have noted a large arrival of globally endangered Balearic Shearwaters in recent days into NW European waters.

On 15th June 650 were counted in the Bay of St Brieuc off the north coast of Brittany.

On the 20th June, more than 3000 were counted off the Brittany coastline including 1000 off Finistere, north west Brittany and 2100 in the Bay of Mont St Michel, located at the base of the Cherbourg Peninsula.

The counts show that a high proportion of the world's population of this globally endangered seabird are now present in Channel waters - a pattern of northward spread to moult and feed which has been increasingly apparent in recent years. This trend has been linked to climate change and changes in the distribution of key prey sources such as Anchovy and other shoaling pelagic fish.

As yet few have been recorded in British waters (Russel Wynn pers. comm.), though a large arrival is possible over the next fortnight.

MARINElife has an ongoing project to monitor this seabird so that measures can be put in place to safeguard their future.