European storm petrels, or 'stormies', are the UK's smallest breeding seabird, named after St Peter for appearing to walk on water and also for the storms they will actively seek to access food churned up near the surface.
This was taken on the island of Annet, a protected bird sanctuary, during the seabird breeding census in July 2015. Storm petrels only leave and return to their breeding sites (boulder beaches, burrows and stone structures) under cover of darkness, which makes them hard to survey. Recording the number of birds responding to a taped callback allows an estimate of the total breeding population. Around 1400 pairs are thought to breed on Scilly, the only English breeding colony. In the video, you can hear both males and female birds calling to each other. Once you've set them off, they often won't shut up for a while!
It's hoped that the recent removal of rats from the islands of St Agnes and Gugh will allow stormies to breed there too, as they (along with other burrow nesting birds such as manx shearwaters) are very vulnerable to the threats these rats pose. Check out more information on this at the Isles of Scilly Recovery Project, ios-seabirds.org.uk.