Sunday 12 May 2013

A trip to NRBO

I have just got back from my first visit to the North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory (NRBO) having spent five days over there (5-9 May).

This post will cover just my birding activities, I have put a post covering my ringing activities on my other blog - Orkney Ringer

The Observatory

As the name implies the Observatory (Obs) is located on North Ronaldsay, the Northern most island in the Orkney island group.

North Ronaldsay is well-known as one of the best birdwatching sites in the country and the variety and number of birds that arrive here on migration in Spring and Autumn can be spectacular.

The Obs, which is situated in the Southwest corner of the island, was established in 1987 and its aim is to study and record the migrant birds that pass through Orkney's most Northerly island each year.

The Observatory

Guest Dining Room
The Obs Cafe/Bar

Visitors are welcome to stay at the observatory which includes guest house accomodation, a hostel and camping area. For full details visit their website 

The Obs is one of the two main ringing sites, the other is just up the road at Holland House.

As well as the usual mist nets and whoosh nets used to catch the birds the Obs also makes use of Heligoland traps. This consists of a mesh funnel that the birds move down through until they reach a catching box. When not in use there is a trap doo on the catching box that is closed to prevent the birds from getting caught in when the trap is not in use. The funnel is open so that the birds can get in and out when the trap is not in use.

Heligoland Trap

To be continued :-)

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