Thursday, May 31, 2007

The next generation of storm petrellers

Despite being very pregnant, Renata was determined to visit the cliff this year, to see one of "her" stormies. Having made it across the rocks without mishap, she set herself the arbitrary deadline of 00:30 for setting off home. At 00:25 the first stormie arrived -just in time- and Renata was very happy to ring it! She also sponsored the storm petrel on behalf of her new baby, ensuring that the next generation of storm petrellers is fully prepared!

The "sponsor a stormie" scheme is our way of encouraging Earthwatchers and other storm petrel enthusiasts (past, present and future!) to stay in touch with the project, and to raise a bit of money for A Rocha's storm petrel research programme in the process. To sponsor a storm petrel for yourself - just follow the link below

Sponsors receive a certificate of sponsorship, a glossy storm petrel poster, and information on any recaptures of your sponsored bird in Portugal or around the world.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A stormie night in summer

for the time,
for the tide,
for the opportunity
to count our chickens;

This is no pastime for the impatient;
patrolling empty nets
fluttering like cobwebs
in the bright moon’s reflected light.
Persevering through uneventful hours,
untold ornithologists

The objects of our attention,
dainty motes on the vast ocean’s surface,
dare not venture close to shore
while even lunar luminescence lingers;
they are such easy pickings.
So we wait.

The bark and chatter of distant relatives
(in both space and time)
relentlessly call the timid travellers to the cliffs.
Perhaps the lure of companionship
will weaken the mariners’ resolve
and ease ennui’s weight.

Until the patter
of those tiny,
webbed feet
trip and tangle
in the dark threads
of our trusty traps,
we watch

Dr David Kelly, 2007

First nights out

Here are a few photos from our first few nights out on the cliffs...
Chris took his bat-detector and found the sky to be full of bats!

Tom releasing a bird

A one-footed British-ringed bird

An infra-red Dave Kelly

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Here we go again!

Hello Earthwatchers past and present -Its nearly time for the 2007 Earthwatch storm petrel season -I can't wait! I've just spent the evening trying out our new, loud and amusingly large loudspeakers.
Check out the Megaphone 600 here. Hopefully my neighbours weren't too alarmed by the sounds of vomiting fairies!

Renata (who is expecting a baby later in the summer) has already flown out to Portugal, to be followed by myself and Dave Kelly (a vetran of the 2002 stormy season) on Monday, when we will be joined by Renata's colleague Patricia for the first catching attempt on Tuesday night (May 22nd).

Watch this space for news from the cliffs...