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Saturday 29 August 2020

27 & 28 Aug – Another 58 shearwaters ringed

Tim Frayling reports on a final two sleep-sapping rounds of ringing shearwaters by night and looking for migrants during daylight hours...

On Thursday (27th) we had a change of team with Bart heading off back home to Cumbria and Mark Worden arriving to help for the last two days of shearwatering. After the rain stopped we had a look around Milcombe and found Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher. We opened the nets briefly and caught a Whitethroat and another juvenile Wren. In the evening we headed out to Old Light colony and caught 30 new Manx Shearwaters and 6 retraps.

Pied Flycatcher, Millcombe 27 Aug © Bart Donato

Chiffchaff, Millcombe 27 Aug © Bart Donato

On Friday (28th) we saw a Merlin flying over Millcombe. Other sightings included a Kestrel, 2 Peregrines, and a Dunlin flushed near the Ugly. The final evening had arrived and we started by searching the area south of the main Old Light colony. Only four birds were found, largely due to the moon being visible, so we returned to the main colony. The 'find' rate was slower but got better once the moon had set. It is such a treat to sit on Lundy at night looking at the sky; the orange moon disappearing on the horizon was stunning. We headed home at 03:00hrs feeling absolutely exhausted but with 28 newly ringed shearwaters to show for our efforts. Already looking forward to doing it all again next year!

Fluffy shearwater chick newly ringed, night of 28-29 Aug © Tim Frayling

Manx Shearwater chick nearing fledging, night of 28-29 Aug © Tim Frayling

Looking W from near Old Light shearwater colony, night of 28-29 Aug © Tim Frayling

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