After two unsuccessful attempts last week at catching Storm Petrels, last night after the reed bed session Stan and myself headed to the ringing site on South Ronaldsay to meet up with Andy for another attempt.
We here hoping that this was going to be third time lucky.
With the net set just before midnight we sat back and waited. An hour later and still no joy, was this going to be another night of catching nothing?
Despite the fog that was drifiting in and out there was still a hint of light to the night sky. Then it seemed to get darker. Perhaps it was the imminent rain clouds moving in. In the darkness Andy spotted something in the net.
At last it was our first Storm Petrel of the year. As Andy extracted it from the net we discovered that it had already been ringed. Had it been ringed locally? Was it ringed recently? I'll be able to answer that once Andy has checked out the ring number.
We started feeling a bit more optimistic, when it started to spit with rain. It wasn't long though before a second one ended up in the net and Stan had his first Storm Petrel to ring.
Soon after a third bird was caught which I ringed.
The rain was starting to get heavier so we decided to pack up and head for our beds before we got too wet.
Now we have broken the ice we're more hopeful for the next session.
UPDATE: Andy's initial investigations have revealed that the re-caught Storm Petrel was probably ringed on North Ronaldsay last year.