Lundy is celebrating once again with the news of a historic seabird find. Whilst searching for manx shearwater chicks in one of the west coast colonies, Lundy Field Society bird ringers Luke Phillips, Tony John and Tony Taylor came across a storm petrel chick, the first ever recorded for Lundy!
“We saw a small dark shape moving in the bracken and as we approached, we quickly realised it was a Storm Petrol” Luke said. Tony Taylor added, “We realised it was a very special one indeed when we picked it up and found its belly was coated in down. This was certainly my most special Lundy moment in the past 40 years.”
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Storm Petrels are tiny seabirds, weighing on average less than 30g, and, similarly to Manx Shearwaters, enter their nests (burrows) at night in order to evade predators. “We are ecstatic at the news that these wonderful seabirds have begun breeding on Lundy,” says Beccy MacDonald, the Lundy Warden. “We’ve been celebrating the success of the Seabird Recovery Project through news of the large increases in our manx shearwater and puffin populations and hoped that one day we would find a storm petrel chick.”
Lundy’s seabirds are protected through the island’s Site of Special Scientific Interest and, on hearing the news of this important find, Nik Ward of Natural England said, “It’s fantastic news for Lundy’s seabirds and adds another significant species to the list for this important colony.”
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The importance of this little chick was also recognised by the National Trust’s Head of Conservation, David Bullock, “I have been visiting Lundy for over 20 years, including in the dark days when rats were everywhere, shearwaters were rare and stormies non-existent. The discovery is the first evidence we have that indicates this beautiful bird of the ocean is now on the island, which is fantastic news.”