Sunday, 13 February 2011

Tails for Wales never fails

This weekend certainly been a weekend of two halves, today torrential rain whereas yesterday was glorious sunshine. Thankfully all the weekends birdie action was due to take place yesterday which meant lots of exciting stuff to write about. Probably most exciting was a canon netting session with Mike Tyler over on the river Axe. Things didn’t look good to start with but a few birds decided to take advantage of all the free food on the bank in front of the net. A reasonable amount of Shelduck were in the catch zone which meant a big bang and off we went.  If I remember rightly 27 Shelduck were caught but also one other quite interesting species. It’s a species ringers don’t come across very often and most ringers have only ever ringed one or two. There was a lot of quiet discussion amongst the ringers in charge to decide who should ring this bird. It all came down to a show of hands. None of the ‘A’ ringers volunteered which was great news as next it was onto the ‘C’ ringers. Unfortunately up went two hands, one of which was myself. This mean a coin would decide, I let the other ringer decide and she went for heads (I think! Otherwise the title to this blog makes no sense...). As you might have guessed it ended on tails which meant I got to ring this stunning creature!

Indeed it is a crow but like I said earlier, these don’t allow themselves to get caught very often. I soon realised why none of the A ringers decided to ring it as it soon started trying to take chunks out of my hand but it was soon got under control with minimal blood loss (mine not the bird!). As with other visits Mike always takes a group picture.

Got back lunchtime after having a superb cooked breakfast in Seaton which left the afternoon completely free. I haven’t mist netted since Christmas so thought it would be a good idea to have a go at the feeders at Abbotsbury Swannery. This resulted in a reasonable number of Blue tit and Great tit and also a few Greenfinch which was a nice surprise as they’ve been few and far between around the Weymouth area this winter. Also got a Greater Spotted Woodpecker but I didn’t have a camera so you are going to have to imagine one.
Got back to Weymouth just in time for kick off for the Wales v Scotland match which Wales duly won. Two minutes after full time I was back in a car off to Thornford in north Dorset to see the Budapest Cafe Orchestra which were great. Some really top class music was played and it only cost nine quid for a ticket! Amazing value.
Today was spend in work making a few nest boxes with loads of kids so no birding done, so thank goodness I wasn’t off today. I wouldn’t have much to write about at all!

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