Sunday, 7 August 2011

A Good Night Out!

Getting in at 4am smelling of sick might not be what you expect of respectable wardening types, but that's what the team have just done. Thankfully, it is the distinctive musty smell of Storm Petrel regurgitations that we are bringing back to the Obs with us, as another successful session saw us bag 53 of these amazing little birds. Star of the show was another Leach’s Petrel, the 6th to be ringed this year on Fair Isle (and the 105th ever for the island). The more I see of them, the more I like them, I think I’d go as far as to say that Leach’s is my favourite bird I’ve ringed this year.
Boom, it's a biggy. Leach's Petrel in the hand.
Competing for star billing tonight was the young Puffin found wandering outside the Obs as we headed out. After a quick visit to the ringing room, it was helped with its fledging by being carried down to North Haven and released on the beach. It’s phenomenal that these birds head out to sea by themselves, with no parents to guide them, and spend the winter on the open ocean. 
Good luck little fella.
Another young bird that was seen today was a juvenile Guillemot being accompanied by an adult about five miles north of Fair Isle, the fact that it was the first that the crew of the Good Shepherd have seen this year sums up the sad breeding season that we have had, which is why it is nice that the Puffins are at least fledging a few youngsters now.

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