In March we outlined opportunities to watch Channel Islands seabirds remotely through web cameras. We included tantalising details of future access to Alderney’s gannet colonies and even some video from previous seasons. Well, now Alderney Wildlife Trust and LIVE are pleased to update everyone as the camera on Ortac has gone live!
The camera is still a very new instillation and next year we will be able to take full advantage of the supper Falsystems pan/tilt/zoom camera array. However for 2015, AWT very much hope that GannetCam, when it is officially launched in early to mid-June alongside the Track A Gannet (TAG) project, will provide school students, teachers and the general public an unrivalled view into the world of the this spectacular seabird.
Alderney’s two northern gannet colonies (Les Etacs and Ortac) are, together, the second most southerly colonies in the world and support over 2% of the species’ population. With seven offshore wind farm sites proposed within the English Channel and tidal turbines likely to be deployed in Alderney’s waters, it is more important than ever for us to understand as much about these magnificent birds as possible.
You may notice a plastic bag has caught underneath the camera. Gannets when creating their nest will collect floating debris on the ocean. This originally would only be plant and seaweed material but with the growing problems of plastic pollution in the world’s seas we now find a lot more fishing line and plastic is being used in the nests. The plastic bag you see on camera is an example of this pollution. For more information about marine litter and AWT’s campaign against it visit their website
So please do drop in to GannetCam. There is never a dull moment in a gannet colony when the birds are at home!