GANNET REPORT - 1997 Ted C. D'Eon


1997 was year #4 of the Gannet Rock Recolonization Project. 36 Gannet decoys were placed on Gannet Rock on April 27 and removed on August 7.

There was again, this year, no evidence of any Gannet nesting attempts on Gannet Rock. I was only able to visit Gannet Rock a few times during the nesting season. On one of these visits, on June 8, 1997, and while in my boat at Gannet Rock, a flock of about 20 migrating Gannets, mostly immatures, passed by, about 1 km to the west. 15 minutes later, when we were nearing Green Rock, a few kilometers northward, my crew and I saw a flock of 10 and another of 12 migrating Gannets fly by Gannet Rock. These last two groups would have been within hearing distance had we had a audio systen of Gannet colony sounds established on Gannet Rock.

Again in 1997, immature Gannets were commonly seen in Lobster Bay during the summer. Even in late November and early December, the local lobster fishermen reported seeing more Gannets than usual. They used to see them only in April and May, during their spring migration.

We will repeat the process again in 1998 with more decoys.

The following is a chronological listing of my 1997 work with the Gannets of the Lobster Bay and the Gannet Rock area of southwest Nova Scotia, Canada. The report also includes Gannet observations from other local residents.
April 4, 1997 - Report from lobster fisherman, Franklyn d'Entremont, of 6 migrating Gannets near Round Island (Mud I. group).

April 27, 1997 - 36 Gannet decoys were placed on Gannet Rock. My crew consisted of Lester D'Eon, Kendrick d'Entremont, Nigel D'Eon, Andrew D'Eon and Adam D'Eon. The event went very smoothly. We used the West Pubnico SCUBA Diving Club's Zodiac as our landing craft. On out arrival, 2 Double-crested and 1 Great Cormorant flew away. There were perhaps a couple dozen Black Guillemots on and about the rock.

Gannet Decoys on Gannet Rock
26 of the decoys were made of fiberglass. Our last 10 were made from A & B Polyurethane foam coated with several layers of epoxy and then with a couple coats of white epoxy paint before the final painting of acrylic and latex paints. Two fiberglass moulds were used. The first made by Lester, Kendrick and the LeBlanc brothers, Neil and Leo of Wedgeport. The second mould was mostly by myself but with the inside finish sprayed on by Doug Murphy.

When all the decoys had finally been secured to the rock with silicone rubber and attached to a vinyl-covered (clothesline) cable which was itself was secured to several drilled-into-the-rock anchors, we sat down for a snack. A SINGLE MIGRATING GANNET FLEW BY ABOVE OUR HEADS. This made our day.

May 28, 1997 - 14 migrating Gannets were observed near Mud Island on our trip to Seal Island. My crew consisted of Andrew D'Eon, Daniel Clairmont, and my son, Nigel.

June 8, 1997 - Trip to Gannet Rock and Green I (a.k.a. Green Rock) with crew composed of Andrew, Lance and Ghislaine D'Eon, and Nigel. All our Gannet decoys were essentially fine though the orangish wash on the back of their heads was faded. One of the epoxy-over-foam decoys had been pecked. It suffered from a 10 cm round by 2 cm deep gouge.

While in the boat at Gannet Rock, a flock of about 20 migrating Gannets, mostly immatures, passed by, about 1 km to the west. 15 minutes later, when we were nearing Green Rock, we saw 1 flock of 10 and one of 12 migrating Gannets fly by Gannet Rock.

July 16, 1997 - Halfway back to Abbott's Harbour, from a trip to Noddy Island to check out the Puffin colony, we saw one immature Gannet.

August 4, 1997 - About 12 immature Gannets were seen in a zone about 6 to 12 km. southwest of Abbott's Harbour, on a trip with Richard and Roderick d'Entremont, Alix d'Entremont, Andrew D'Eon, and Nigel to check out the Puffins of Noddy and Round Islands. The Gannets were not in a migratory mode and seemed to gravitate to locations where Harbour Porpoises were. I would assume they were both seeking the same quarry, probably mackerel.

We did not see any Puffins at Round Island; there were about 10 at Noddy I.

August 7, 1997 - We removed the Gannet decoys from Gannet Rock. My crew consisted of Richard, Joel, Andrew and Jonathan Surette, Jean-Paul d'Entremont, and Nigel. We did see one flock of 6 Gannets about 6 or 7 km. east of Gannet Rock. There was still no evidence of any Gannets nesting.

August 10, 1997 - 1 mature Gannet was seen near the mackerel trap at Pubnico Point.

August 12, 1997 - Same crew as on Aug. 7. This time to Round and Noddy Islands to check out the Puffin colonies.

We saw about 6 or 7 Gannets in the same area as on Aug. 4, on the returning trip.


Ted C. D'Eon
P.O. Box 100
West Pubnico
Nova Scotia
B0W 3S0
phone (home)1-902-762-2097
      (FAX) 1-902-762-2885

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© Ted C. D'Eon, 1997