6 August 2016

Not often you get four controls in one net

Last night our numbers were swollen by visitors from up-country, allowing us to us divide our time between nocturnal netting sites on the Lizard. First stop was Gunwalloe where we netted the Swallow roost for the first time, starting off well catching a decent number of warblers and a couple of Reed Buntings (very much lacking in recent years). Numbers of Swallows soon increased, but the roost was rather disrupted by a pack of Starlings also choosing to roost close to the nets, of which we caught a small number. But once these were cleared, Swallows dropped back in and we ended the night with 50 Swallows (along with nine Reed and eight Sedge Warblers).

With most of the team staying to process Swallows, two decamped to Hot Point, Lizard to set nets for Storm Petrels. In amongst a very eerie sea fret, we netted through to 3am, catching 60 birds. The highlight though was one net round which produced five ringed birds (in the same net)! These included birds from Portland Bill (Dorset), Dingle peninsula (Co Kerry), a recapture of a bird we ringed in July 2015 and incredibly two birds carrying rings from the Channel Islands Ringing Scheme.

These birds will almost certainly have been ringed on the small island of Burhou, but we'll have to wait for confirmation. This is rather exceptional though, as to the end of 2015 only 12 Channel Islands ringed Storm Petrels had been recaptured in Britain & Ireland (four of which have unsurprisingly been in Cornwall).

Just for a brief distraction we also caught a bat, which we think was a Pipistrelle... ***UPDATE*** It was apparently a Whiskered Bat!

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