Thursday, August 09, 2007

Nan Ron ringing

Have recently returned from a week of ringing on the island of Nan Ron off the north coast of Scotland. Although it was wet, especially underfoot, the weather didn't affect any planned ringing. The island is spectacular and uninhabited which means that we have the place to ourselves. Some ringing is done during the day - Great Skuas, Shags, gulls and any passing passerines - but most of the ringing effort is directed at night catching of Storm Petrels using tape-lures and mistnets.

This year we managed a final total of 847 Stormies where approx a quarter were retraps, and we did manage one Norwegian and one Portugese control. Of these we took biometrics (wings and weights as indicators of body condition) on over 200. We also took some poo and vomit samples for a study being undertaken by Cardiff University.

Additionally we also ringed two Snipe, 12 Shag, 3 Great Skua, two Swallow and five Meadow Pipits. This year the number of passing passerines was almost non-existent, whether this was due to the fact we were on the island two weeks earlier than usual, or the cold and damp Scottish weather had played a role, we'll never know.

Photos show general shot of the islands' coast, setting a mist net in amongst the rocks at a place called 'the slabs' ready for catching at night, a Great Skuas nest and egg.


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