Thursday, 2 August 2012

Moonlight Shadows

The start of August was heralded by a Petrel ringing session in the Havens in bright moonlight, not exactly the best conditions for trapping birds, but the fact that a Leach’s Petrel was singing in South Haven before we even switched the tape on was a sign of things to come. A total of 28 Storm Petrels trapped was reasonable, but the star of the night was the Leach’s Petrel that was caught.
Tails you win: a comparison of Storm (left) and Leach's Petrel.
All through the night there were regular bouts of calling from unseen Leach’s and occasionally one would circle the nets (showing quite well in the moonlight). At least two birds were involved, but possibly more – whatever the numbers, it was a special night.
Storm Petrels are always a favourite with staff and visitors alike. The amazing lifestyle of these tiny birds adds to their appeal.
By the end of the session, the breeze had picked up from the SE and by Wednesday it was quite strong, with frequent rain. No migrants have been noted yet, but with a calmer day due on Thursday, there'll hopefully be something to be found.

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