By Andy Hargreaves

A Manx Shearwater chick emerging from its burrow.

A Manx Shearwater chick emerging from its burrow.

A group of Five Islands School pupils has spent part of the Easter break looking for real eggs.

Last week seabird spotters on board the Scillonian recorded over 200 Manx shearwater.

That encouraged RSPB and Seabird Recovery Project officer Jaclyn Pearson to take pupils on a survey of the endangered birds around St Agnes and Gugh on Wednesday.

Those islands have been the focus of the rat eradication programme, which will protect the breeding birds. On Thursday, pupils repeated the exercise on St Mary’s.

Xanthe Hicks is the school’s Year 9 Youth Ambassador for St Agnes and joined survey work at Peninnis.

Xanthe says they played back recordings of the birds down their burrows to see whether any underground chicks responded.

Jaclyn says it is sad to know that the chicks on St Mary’s may not fledge due to predation by rats but the group was still thrilled to know that this long-lived bird returns from South America each year to nest and tries to raise a chick each year.