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Noble Caledonia assists Alderney Bird Observatory bringing essential ringing equipment on Ocean Nova

Noble Caledonia assists Alderney Bird Observatory bringing essential ringing equipment on Ocean Nova

Essential bird ringing equipment arrived in Alderney, the most northerly of the Channel Islands, after Noble Caledonia sailed to the rescue.

Vital poles and nets needed by the Alderney Bird Observatory were picked up by the expedition cruise ship Ocean Nova and taken to the northern isle at the weekend.

'It was an unexpected benefit of the cruise industry,' observatory manager John Horton said. 'Noble Caledonia quickly offered the services of its staff, and the poles and nets were put onto a Zodiac in Guernsey, taken out to the ship and dropped off with us on Alderney within three hours.'

It helped that observatory's honorary marketing director Tim Earl was working on Ocean Nova as a naturalist and Zodiac driver.

'When I heard that the bird observatory was having difficulty getting the equipment to Alderney I approached my boss at Noble Caledonia and he jumped at the chance to help,' Earl said.

'The current cruise goes around the bird islands of Britain. Our first call was Guernsey to visit La Claire Mare and the second Alderney to see the gannet colonies and visit the bird observatory. Taking the equipment was an easy exercise.'

Noble Caledonia has a policy of helping the communities its ships visit worldwide. Its charitable trust gives support to conservation projects in isolated communities to great effect.

'We were delighted to be of assistance,' fleet operations manager Mike Deegan said. 'Moving bulky equipment between islands can be difficult and costly so we were pleased to help the bird observatory.'

Alderney Bird Observatory is in its first season and enjoying outstanding results. More than 3,600 birds have been ringed to date proving the vital importance of the island as a staging post for migrating species.

In addition, seven British-ringed birds and one with a French ring have been controlled and released.

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