GANNET REPORT - 1998 - Ted C. D'Eon


The Gannet Rock Recolonization Project - Year #5
  • GANNET REPORT - 2000 (Ted C. D'Eon)
  • GANNET REPORT - 1999 (Ted C. D'Eon)
  • GANNET REPORT - 1997 (Ted C. D'Eon)
  • GANNET REPORT - 1996 (Ted C. D'Eon)

  • Marine Chart of Lobster Bay


    1998 was year #5 of the Gannet Rock Recolonization Project. 51 Gannet decoys were placed on Gannet Rock on April 12 and removed on August 23.

    There was again, this year, no evidence of any Gannets nesting on Gannet Rock. There was, however, evidence that something attacked our decoys. Many of the decoys, made from gel-coat and foam, were severely damaged by some serious pecking. Some of them had large holes dug into the foam, especially on the head and neck. It is quite possible that this damage was made the Gannets of the bay. Gannets were commonly seen in Lobster Bay and in the Gannet Rock area during the summer. Our stronger fibreglass decoys suffered little damage, but all will require some work if only paint before we can place them again on Gannet Rock in 1999.

    Hopefully, at that time, we will be able to add a sound system which will broadcast Gannet colony sounds to Gannet Rock, along with the decoys.

    The following is a chronological listing of my 1998 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.
    March 24, 1998 - Report from lobster fisherman, Flavien d'Entremont, of 1 migrating Gannet 4 or 5 km north-east of Round Island (Mud I. group).

    April 12, 1998 - We placed 51 Northern Gannet decoys on Gannet Rock, Nova Scotia. The decoys were secured to the higher parts of the rock with silicone rubber compound and strung together with a vinyl covered clothes line type of cable which was then tied to some rock anchors, previous drilled into the rock by the Department of Transport.

    The decoys were placed in a colony-like configuration as we could make it. My crew consisted of Lester D'Eon, Lance D'Eon, Kendrick d'Entremont, Maurice D'Eon, and Julien d'Entremont.
    The decoys were manufactured mostly by Lester D'Eon. Neil and Leo Leblanc of Wedgeport helped to build one of our two fibreglass moulds, and supplied a lot of the raw materials for manufacture. The second mould was mostly made by myself. Doug Murphy of Argyle put the final finishing touches. PLASTICS MARITIME donated 2 gallons of each of "A" and "B" polyurethane foam to produce our last 17 decoys. These were made by Lester, by first "painting" the inside of each half of the moulds with white "gel coat" and then bolting the halves together after the "gel coat" was hardened. The freshly mixed "A" and "B" foam was then poured through a hole on the underside of the mould. Some of our earlier decoys were also made with the "A" and "B" foam but no "gel coat", rather, these were then painted over with epoxy paint. The best decoys were our first ones, which were made of polyester resin and fibreglass matting, but this was a lot more work than the "gel coat" and foam combo. I painted all our decoys myself.

    Four mature Gannets were observed a few km east of Gannet Rock. One, on our way to the Rock and 3, on our way back to Pubnico.

    Everything went well except for the boat dragging its anchors repeatedly until a secure line was attached to Gannet Rock. The people and decoys were ferried back and forth to the Rock with the free use of the West Pubnico SCUBA Diving Club's rubber Zodiac.

    May 9, 1998 - On a boat trip to the Mud Island group of islands with my son, Nigel, and my cousin, Andrew D'Eon, 4 Gannets (3 mature and 1 immature) flew in front of the boat when we were about halfway there.

    Gannet Decoys on Gannet Rock

    June 21, 1998 - Foggy Sunday. Nigel and I went to Gannet Rock to check out our Gannet decoys. A number of the decoys were unglued and some of the ones made of foam and gel coat or foam and epoxy had large chunks pecked out of them. 5 decoys, badly damaged from pecking were removed, leaving 46 on the rock. The fog cleared before we left the rock. There were many Black Guillemots and we passed by 3 of their nests on our way to the decoys. One nest contained 2 eggs; the other two, 1 egg each. We did not have time to do any searching for Black Guillemot nests as my boat was tied to the Rock with 2 balloons for padding and I did not want to leave it like that for longer than absolutely necessary.

    I am sure there were more Black Guillemot nests and there were a few Arctic Terns in the air, which may have been nesting also.

    On the way to Gannet Rock we saw and heard a couple of terns at Holmes Island. If terns were nesting there, there could only be a few.

    On the way back to Abbott's Harbour We stopped by N. Brother. I went ashore for a few minutes to photograph the crow depredated, tern egg shells in and about the rusted oil drum. There were even more of them. The Roseate Tern presence on this island was very high; as many in the air as I have ever seen. I did not stay to check out any nests. I did not see any Crows.

    On this trip we saw one Roseate Tern a few km east of Peases I., 4 Gannets near Gannet Rock, and 1 Gannet in the bay between Peases I. and N. Brother.

    July 7, 1998 - Trip to Gannet Rock and Green Rock (a.k.a. Green Island) with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) crew of Land and Sea, composed of Peter Verner, the host and producer, Charlie Dort, cameraman, and Mario Brenet, soundman. Lester D'Eon and Kendrick d'Entremont accompanied Nigel and me.

    Two of the damaged decoys removed on June 21 were re-glued to the rock, as were a few more which had become unglued.

    One of the Black Guillemot nests of June 21 now contained one hatched chick and one chick starting to peck out of its egg shell.

    There were 3 Least Sandpipers on Gannet Rock and a few Arctic Terns in the air above, but no nests. Black Guillemots were very numerous on both Gannet Rock and on Green Rock, though more so on Green Rock. One Puffin was seen near Gannet Rock and 30 more at Green Rock. There were also 3 Razorbills in the waters of Green Rock - my first sighting ever of Razorbills here.

    We managed to see 10 Gannets in the Gannet Rock/Green Rock area. This was great to see.

    I lost one of my boat's anchors at Gannet Rock.

    July 12, 1998 - Returned to Green Rock in the fog with Virginia and Robert D'Eon, her sister Lisette and Peter d'Entremont and their families, and Nigel.

    We did not see any Razorbills, however we did see perhaps a dozen Puffins in the fog. There were abour 150 Black Guillemots. Some Puffins were seen carrying fish. We found two shallow burrows, each containing an egg which could be Puffin's, 50m south of the cove where the boat was anchored. One of the eggs was cracked and spoiled; the other was cold and covered with wet mud.

    We counted 5 immature Gannets on this trip. Most were between Peases Island and Abbott's Harbour after the fog had cleared.

    July 26, 1998 - While in my living room overlooking Lobster Bay with with my spotting scope I could see 6 or 7 Gannets flying 8 to 10 km away. I did not see any diving in the water.

    July 28, 29, 30/1998 - From my living room chair, I watched several Gannets dive in Lobster Bay. They were all 6 to 10 km away between Abbott's Harbour and Mud Island. I was viewing them through a spotting scope.

    August 23, 1998 - Removed our Gannet decoys from Gannet Rock. Many were damaged as if pecked by other Gannets; maybe they actually were. We saw 2 Gannets on our way back to Abbott's Harbour. My crew consisted of Nigel, Raymond d'Entremont, Maurice D'Eon, and Norbert d'Entremont and his son, Jean-Pierre. The weather was calm and we managed to tie the boat to Gannet Rock with the Zodiac in between.

    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, 1998

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