The Radipole Ringing Group achieved their milestone of 300 Tufted Duck ringed at Radipole this morning. They’ve been teasing us for a few weeks, either the weathers been warmer and the birds not hungry, or birds have been strangely wary. We thought we weren’t going to catch anything at this morning’s session but I got my hands on a Coot followed by Derek getting a hold of a fine drake Tufted Duck. That was number 299. It really looked unlikely we’d get anymore but Derek suddenly dashed towards the water and almost fully submerged himself in the lake. It was worth while as he came back up with another super drake Tufted Duck. A few tense moments passed whilst I waited to hear whether it was a re-trap or a new birds, but it was fortunately the latter!
I was given the honour of ringing it as Derek’s hands had got pretty cold and the prospect of fiddling with pliers and callipers wasn’t an appealing one. Derek’s hands are responsible for catching a large proportion of the groups Tufted Ducks which is quite an achievement. Perhaps a suitable nickname could be 'super hands?'Terry from the group very kindly sent the coot totals from Radipole a few evenings ago. Can't remember if I mentioned coot numbers in a recent blog post or a conversation with Terry. But anyway, I thought they were worth posting. 370 is where we are at but the rate we've been catching this winter the 400 mark can't be far away!