Wild and Free, holding a wild bird in my hand When I was a teenager, many years ago I was a
frequent visitor to a bird observatory on the coast near Seahouses,
Northumberland. I had a unique opportunity to watch birds in the company of fellow enthusiasts.
Taking the boat ‘Glad Tidings’ over to the Farne Islands was always a highlight.
Our group took part in research carried out by the British Trust for
Ornithology which involved ringing birds . The aim was to track migration
patterns. To do this we had to catch them, and on the Farne Islands in May
there was a fair chance we could do this. It was thrilling to put ones hand down a
rabbit hole and bring out a squawking, grunting puffin who was very irritated
at being disturbed in his private underground apartment. Once we had attached
the little aluminium ring to his leg we gave him back his freedom.