Today I joined members of the Pembrokeshire ringing group and the Teifi ringing group to ring Puffins on Skokholm island and Shag pulli on Midland island. We landed on Skokholm at about 12.15pm and were greeted by the Wardens Richard and Giselle with cups of tea supplied by the holiday guests. The target for the day was 50 Puffins and as far as I am aware this is the third year that this event has taken place. Altogether we caught 51 birds which were fitted with BTO and colour rings.
The BTO ring was fitted to the left leg with a plastic black and green striped colour ring above that. The colours signifies it is a 2013 bird. On the right leg two other colour rings were fitted and the sequence in which this is done make it unique to this bird. So, in future surveys identification of a bird can be determined from the colours it has fitted to its legs through binoculars.
Final squeeze to close the ring
All information including wing measurement and the weight of the bird is recorded. In the picture below you can see all the different colour rings that were used.
Finally we went over to Midland island to see if there were any Shag pulli to ring. Not for the feint hearted because the island is steep, grassy and foothold can be a unpredictable at times. We found 19 chicks that were ring-able and a lot more that were too small, we also found several nests with eggs.
Wendy just finishing off ringing her first bird
There were quite a few Shag nests with eggs. I have to wonder if it may be getting a little late for these to go the full term and fledge.
We are currently considering another visit weather permitting sometime soon. There are potentially another 20 birds that can be processed.