Fast forward to 7.30am on 9th July 2014, I was just getting the kids up and ready for school, when my phone started going crazy:
Shetland - Swinhoe's Petrel again Fair Isle re-trapped at 1.45am, individual first trapped in 2013
Aaaarrrrggghhhhh! That threw a spanner in the works, panic mode, that was nearly two weeks earlier than last year and not what we were expecting just yet. With the kids finally sorted, Amy off to school and Toby out with mummy for the day, plans were hatched. With the new BTO regulations in place, making the birds welfare the priority, we knew that things weren't going to be as straight forward as last year. After several telephone conversations with FIBO, it seemed that it was do-able but would require a lot of luck.
Things came together and with a couple of retraps, we decided that it was now or never, we had to do this before the entire petrel ringing season was cancelled for the year.
We all met up at an airfield in Nottinghamshire on Tuesday 15th July and flew up to Fair Isle, arriving just a couple of hours later, where we were met by David the warden of FIBO, who kindly transported us to the observatory. We still weren't sure that there would even be any actual petrel ringing that night as the weather wasn't perfect. At 11.30pm, it was decided that the weather had improved sufficiently and the conditions were now looking ideal, game on!!!
The Havens - the large stones on the grass are used to weigh down the nets
Swinhoe's Storm Petrel (Photos by Mark Rayment)
What a truly amazing trip it had been and couldn't believe we had pulled it off. Massive thanks have to go to all at the observatory for all of their fabulous work and patience with the daily phone calls. Hope to be back soon, perhaps to lay the ghost of that Rubythroat!!!!