Gannet – 1894

Sula bassana

Resident; only on Grasholm.

The Pembrokeshire Gannets are supposed to be a colony from Lundy Island, whence the birds were driven by the continued persecution they sustained at the hands of the channel pilots, and other robbers of their nests.

Mr. Mortimer Propert, of St. David’s, who has repeatedly visited Grasholm, reports them to be rapidly increasing in numbers. In the spring of 1886 Mr. Propert estimated that there were at least 250 nests on the island, in four separate colonies. So remote is Grasholm, some seventeen miles from the shore in the centre of St. Bride’s Bay, and is both difficult to reach and not easy to get away from, that the Gannets might be expected to have at last found a place of security. However, a year or two since they were the victims of a raid, the particulars of which were made public, and excited at the time no little indignation. Since then, we believe, they have enjoyed peace.

Accident, or stress of weather, occasionally drives the Gannet, inhabitant as it is of the wide ocean, far inland, and we have heard of a young one in the spotted plumage having been picked up by our friend and neighbour, the late Capt. O. T. Edwardes, of Tyrhos, on such an unlikely spot as Tyrhos Common. In November, 1887, Sir Hugh Owen reported to us that there were several immature Gannets in Goodwick Bay, that were fairly tame, and two of them seemed more pleased to be caught than to be turned adrift again. They were probably injured by the repeated gales.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Gannet in Pembrokeshire