In the early hours with just a feint wash of light the storm petrels are at their noisiest – a soft purring frog-like croak seems to come from under every huge boulder, from rock crevices in steep slabs of cliff, from between cracked rocks and from burrows beneath mats of heather. The white rump of passing birds shows in the darkness and flying higher against the sky you can briefly see their fast moving fluttering flight.
In the hand they are so beautiful ….. and the smell of them so distinctive.
Just back from Priest Island having been invited by the team who visit annually to ring storm petrels. A wonderful experience, so huge thanks to Hugh Insley, Tim and Mike Hounsome – and to Steph Elliot, the RSPB site manager.
Some of the drawings from the first night (using head-torch)