Saturday, 4 June 2011

Caught Red-handed on Puffin Island - 4th June 2011

Today I spent a very long, hot and tiring day on Puffin island off Anglesey. Although it was exhausting, it was really enjoyable!
The only problem was that everything you catch in Seabird colonies, have the ability to give you a fight, particularly adult Razorbill. I didn't in my mind think I could possibly go and ring birds on an Island called Puffin Island without ringing a Puffin of my own! Steve 'noosed' 2 adults which we ringed by Gillian Dinsmore and myself...stunning, although size can be deceaving! You automatically don't give them as much respect as Razorbill due to their added 'cute-factor' but they pack a bite and a scratch.
Although, I am harbouring several deep cuts from this bird, you can't help but be charmed by them. This is the only species I got to photograph as I didn't fancy taking my camera into certain poo-filled crevices. I also ringed a couple of adult Guillemot which were stunning and seemingly placid in comparison to their two cousins. A joy to ring!
The team split up into two groups nearer to the end concentrate of Razorbill and Shag. I was sent off with the Shag party and I made myself 'cheif shag catcher' and caught 100 birds in relativly quick succession. Annoyingly, of the 100 birds I caught, 100 bit me (hence the title of the post) and 50 shat all over me, so it wasn't a particularly pleasant job if i'm perfectly honest, although I did enjoy it!(Shag photo: Kane Brides)
It was a hugely enjoyable and memorable day on Puffin Island, and one that I will remember for sometime...every time I look at my wrists for the next month or so most likely! My only regrets are that I didn't take many photos and also the adult Fulmar that Steve caught for me was a retrap so I am yet to catch my first Tubenose!

A huge thanks to Steve and Rachel for coordinating the day, aswell as a big thanks to all whom attended to make it such an enjoyable, albeit tiring, day!

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