Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Summer 2013 - July Part 3 - Eilean Nan Ron

So I finished at Vyrnwy on July 25th and on the 26th was off on my next adventure. I was headed up the to north of Scotland for a ringing trip to Eilean Nan Ron, a small island off the north coast near Tongue.
The 26th was spent packing and then driving to Chris'. Then early on the 27th, Scott Reid joined us, we packed all our stuff into my car and headed for Inverness. I've done long drives before so it wasn't too hard but I was glad to have Chris and Scott along to make things more fun. Somewhere on the A9, we also picked up Alex (Chris' RSPB boss) who was joining us for the week. We stopped off at Aviemore on the way to try and see some crested tits (Lophophanes cristatus) and Chris and Scott managed to find 2 for me and Alex who hadn't seen them before. We then made our way to Inverness, checked into our B&B and headed out to find food. Had a really nice night and were excited for the week ahead.
On Sunday we drove the rest of the way to Skerray for the 10am boat to the island.
This ringing trip was all organised by the South-west Lancs ringing group and was targeting Storm Petrels and Great Skuas. Both of these were new species for me and so the trip was well worth the driving. We were on the island from Sunday-Thursday and the whole trip was just incredible! c900 Stormies and 15 bonxies were caught all in all and the experience was invaluable for my training.

The view from our tent
The storm petrel I managed to find in it's burrow, incubating an egg.
Bonxie chick
Adult bonxie
Spot the incubating petrel. Another bird I found on the nest in a small crevice.
Me and the adult bonxie I got to ring.

We came off the island on the 1st of August and I was due to go to Bardsey Island on the 3rd so the next couple of days were a mad blur of driving, washing, unpacking, re-packing, meeting Chris' aunt, uncle and cousins in Glasgow and more driving! A little manic but with a lot of help from Chris, I managed to get to Bardsey on time.

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