A Gannet came to Brockholes

In Focus

We have had the first ever sighting of a Gannet at Brockholes this week, and we're very excited!

What is a Gannet?

One of our largest seabirds, gannets feed on fish, which they catch by diving head-first into the sea, their wings folded right back.

Gannets nests on coastal cliffs around the north of the UK, sometimes in large colonies like those on some Scottish islands, and at sites in Wales, North East England and the Channel Islands.

So what is it doing here?

Due to the strength of the winds from Storm Francis this week, the Gannet has been picked up in the gusts and moved away from its usual resting spot.

According to the experts at infocus: "Sea birds such as gannets can be weak. Having been blown from their usual place, they would have seen the calm waters at Brockholes on Number 1 Pit Lake and thought 'phew, I'll rest here for a while'."


Gannet at Brockholes

In Focus

What makes them so special?

Gannets are classified as Amber when it comes to conservation importance. This means, while they are not a globally threatened species, they are gradually declining in numbers and need to be looked after. At the moment, there is thought to be around 220,000 nests of gannets in the UK, which is between 60 and 70% of the entire world's population of them.

They are protected by the Wildlife and Countrysie Act: 1981.

Did you know?

Diving from heights of 30m, gannets can hit the water at speeds of up to 60mph. They have an extensive network of air-sacs between their muscles and skin to help cushion this impact. 

Learn more here