Sunday, 11 August 2013

Got to be Swin it to Win it!

Over 900 Storm Petrels have now been ringed on Fair Isle this year.
Well, we did say that the Swinhoe’s Petrel was almost twitchable, and so it proved. The second person to attempt a speculative twitch for this amazing seabird vagrant was rewarded in the small hours of this morning when, after singing from the Havens from 1am, the Swinhoe’s eventually made it into the nets at around half past three. Well done to Dougie Preston for taking the punt and I suspect we may see one or two more people following in his and Dennis Coutts’ footsteps during the next few days!
It was the same bird as has been caught on the previous two nights Stormying (we haven’t been trapping for the last two nights) and actually seems settled in the area… We’ll attempt to have Storm Petrel ringing sessions run as normal, so if there are people wanting to visit who would like to see the bird then get in touch to find out when the next sessions are planned (although they will all be weather dependent of course and also rely on other work commitments). Give us a ring or drop me an email if you’re wanting to visit – we have a couple of rooms during the week and plenty of space at the weekend (rooms available from a very reasonable £45 per night, full board, see here for details).
The Swinhoe’s was the highlight of a very good night’s ringing, with a superb total of 134 Storm Petrels ringed (plus another 12 retraps/controls) and 3 Leach’s Petrels caught (two ‘new’ birds and the same retrap from last year that was caught earlier this summer).
Storm Petrel ringing sessions are always a highlight for guests who come along to them, but it has to be said that this year is proving even more special than usual.

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