17 June 2015

Rush of French Stormies

After the success of Storm Petrel ringing the previous night, we headed out to Hot Point again last night, this time in perfect still conditions. With just two of us out, we managed a very respectable 65 birds, but the make up of these made for one of the best nights we've had!

We often deliberate over the ageing of Stormies, so this bird with a single
recently-moulted inner greater covert made us scratch our heads!
64 of these birds were, unsurprisingly, Storm Petrels, which compares well to the 40-50 we normally ring in the whole of June... but what was interesting was some of the recaptures of ringed birds. No less than four of these were French-ringed birds, all ringed above the 'knee'. The latest BTO Online Ringing Report (for 2013) shows just three French-ringed Storm Petrels recaptured in Britain and Ireland, so four on one night is quite notable!

We also recaptured two birds ringed on the Isles of Scilly (in 2011 and 2014) and one of our own birds ringed last year which is interesting. The fact that one of the Scilly birds was ringed as an adult in 2011 contradicts the commonly-held belief that tape-luring only draws in young non-breeding birds...

A final hoorah for the night though was a very smart Manx Shearwater that blundered into one of the nets. We'd had one bounce out of a net the previous evening, but this one flopped in whilst we were extracting Stormies, so managed to get to it before it too bounced. Whilst half-hoping to find it was a ringed bird from one of the west coast breeding sites, it was an interesting training event fitting the overlapped and ellipsed ring!

1 comment:

  1. the storm petrels carrying French rings caught in Cornwall in June were probably ringed by me

    our 1st ringing session of storm petrels in the Molene archipelago (Western Brittany, France) was carried out during 3 consecutive nights from the 16 to the 19 June

    with only 2mist-nets and without tape-lure we have trapped 688 storm petrels out of which 411 new birds (we always trapped many non-breeding prospectors in June and July)

    the 2nd session is planned from the 7 to the 10 July

    the ring are always above the knee due to the diameter of the French rings

    Bernard Cadiou, Seabird Biologist