23 July 2015

More Storm Petrel news from France

Last month we blogged about the 'rush' of four French-ringed Storm Petrels we caught on one night (see the post here), but we had no such luck in July, but our catch of 75 birds on one night was a bit of a Lizard record! But we've also heard a bit more about the Storm Petrel ringing in France, courtesy of Bernard Cadiou.

He confirmed that the four birds we caught last month were all ringed in 2014 on the Molene archipelago, where he's been running the ringing programme since 1997. In that time he's ringed over 18,000 birds and on just three nights last month they caught 688 birds - all in two nets without a tape-lure! But these are breeding birds and he was able to confirm that most of the birds we are catching in Cornwall are wandering non-breeders, which once settled at a colony will rarely wander far from it. One good example is 2683074, ringed at Lizard on 8th July 2013 and recaught on Banneg in the Molene archipelago just three nights later. Interestingly, it was then caught incubating an egg on the nearby colony of Enez Kreiz in 2014 and was also recaught there by Bernard just yesterday, this time incubating a small chick!

The Molene archipelago lies off the French coast and is home to France's largest breeding population of Storm Petrels. The three main islands are shown below, with the density of breeding birds shown by the coloured grids (or kernel maps for the two right-hand maps).

Many thanks to Bernard for the update on their ringing programme on the islands and it certainly inspires us to ring more birds here!

1 comment:

  1. From Chris Mourant on the Channel Islands:

    "Hi, looking at your blog on storm petrels, you might be interested to know that over last weekend. We spent two nights ringing storm petrels on Burhou just of Alderney in the Channel Islands over the two nights. We managed to catch 389 new birds and 147 re-traps using four nets and no tape, re-traps included 4 British ringed birds and 4 French ringed birds. Most of the re-traps were caught several times over the two nights."