Thursday, 15 September 2011

Out of Petrel

After a quick visit to Ynyslas last night where we caught 7 dunlin and 2 ringed plover (including a re-trap from a fortnight ago) myself and Jane thought we'd have a quick try at tape-luring petrels from the cliffs south of Aberystwyth - not the ideal location as it is about as far into Cardigan Bay as it is possible to get but hey, nothing ventured and the winds have been blowing lots of seabirds close inshore recently. Paul had optimistically produced us a major petrel mix, bit of stormy, bit of Leach's, even the odd Wilson's call thrown in (as I said, ever optimistic!). Conditions were not ideal, bright and with an onshore breeze. Optimism dwindled after a remarkably short period of no response - well it had been a long day! Might try again this weekend if the wind continues to ease.

The target bird on a more productive night in June!

Rather than return empty-handed we had a quick go at tape-luring the resident Little Owls (an increasingly uncommon bird in this part of the world). Soon after setting the net and starting the tape a response was clearly heard coming from the ruined farmhouse and within minutes a male Little Owl was perched on the top of the wall staring down at the net, trying to locate the intruder. After a short while, the need to get a closer look at the very noisy incomer, saw the owl drop straight into the net. It must have read the manual!

Jane getting to grips with a Little Owl

- that had a very laid-back approach to being handled.

Back the right way up for release, although now a little blurred!!

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