News and Surprises

Monday, August 25th 2014

The team who have been at Cape Wrath have started their long journey home. Last night they ringed over 120 Stormies. They have been visiting the area for more than 20 years and have never seen the ground so wet after all the heavy rain over the last few weeks.

John and Sophie visited The Crater this morning to ring more Mipits (Meadow Pipits). From one 12 metre net, they caught 124 Mipits. However they were surprised by some extra visitors. Firstly a Whinchat. These birds are declining rapidly, so it was very good to see one.

Whinchat

Then some larger visitors, two Long Eared Owls. A special raptor net was used. ( There was just a little concern as to the state of the mist net after these two had been in it!) The adult male is on the left and you can clearly see his ear tufts, which are not ears! He was newly ringed, not one of the chicks ringed in a nest in May 2012, not too far from The Crater.  On the right is the juvenile.  These birds have a wing span of about 100cm.  They feed mainly on small mammals but will take small birds and are obviously making the most of the Meadow Pipit migration.

Long Eared Owls

 Another bird caught today was a Sparrowhawk.  It too would be hunting the small birds around the The Crater.

Thank you to John and Sophie for the photographs from their ringing session. 


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