Ocean wandering wonder
‘Back in the day’ as they say, Storm Petrels would have been viewed as rare birds in the North Sea. Not even annual at Spurn, the best hope was September and October storms. And all the time, they were feeding offshore in the (late) summer. Only it was a night. Nocturnal in the breeding season. No records but plenty present. Another example of the wonders of nature and our struggle to classify and keep up (which is OK with me). we still don’t know how many are feeding at night, offshore during the summer months. Probably more than we think.
Last night stayed late the Warren, Spurn for an attempt to tape-lure Storm Petrels. One bird visited very briefly then about an hour or more later this one land in the mist net at 12:20 am. Quickly ringed and processed it was placed back on the beach by the tideline. Sitting for probably less than a minute it then flitted off back into the night. Amazing! Thanks to Adam and Ian.
Adult (or perhaps first summer?) Storm Petrel, Spurn, 9 August 2011
The brownish wing coverts were well-worn. Juveniles have nice fresh white tips to the greater coverts and tertials (forms thin white bar on upperwing). I suppose it could be a first summer though they don’t seem easy to age (esp. by August). The uppertail coverts are adult type, lacking the pale tips/ more extensive areas of white at tip of juveniles.
What a head shape! What an amazing, tiny bird.