Things have suddenly got quite busy down this part of the world. Last Saturday was the Abbotsbury Swan round up which was an amazing thing to see. 771 Mute Swan were caught and processed, though I don’t know how many of those birds were new. Quite a few of the un-ringed birds made it to our ringing station where several very keen trainee ringers worked their asses off and processed about 35 birds each with about half being un-ringed birds. Thankfully they did all the hard work which meant I only did about half a dozen Swans but the other guys had travelled much further than me plus I’ll get plenty of other opportunities to ring Swans over the next few months. After the round up I had the pleasure of ringing with some of Cardiff’s finest (bird ringers that it). Their exploits can be found at http://cardiffringers.blogspot.com/ which claims to be ‘probably the best bird ringing blog in Cardiff...’ not sure about that myself but worth a look.
Anyway, here’s some photos of the days goings on.
Thankfully a few people in the catch pen remembered that there’s also value in ringing anything else that gets rounded up. We ended up with three Coot, two of which are shown here with Petra and Ollie.
As well as Swan catching, there’s been some twitching that needed doing. Sadly no pictures of either species. An attempt for a Paddyfield Warbler resulted in a dip (hence no pictures) and a Stilt Sandpiper at Lodmoor was just too distant to bother. The Stilt Sand was my second as I saw an adult at a similar time of year in Gloucestershire about five years ago.
This morning I finally got out and did some mist netting. Got to Abbotsbury to find that the wind was too strong to put the reed nets up. Therefore I concentrated my efforts on the withies where it became obvious very quickly that there’d been a fall of Willow Warblers overnight. We don’t catch many at the Swannery so a catching of about 25 this morning was quite something! The wind eased as the morning progressed allowing me to put a few nets up in the reeds which boosted my mornings total to exactly 50 birds. Interestingly this was the only adult bird caught all morning!
And finally, here’s a shot of a Willow Warbler. I will be back out in the morning with Steve, fingers crossed its calmer than this morning!
Almost forgot to mention that yesterday evening the first Pied Wags of the autumn were colour ringed at Abbotsbury. I’ll mention this again shortly but anyone around Weymouth (and further afield) keep your eye’s peeled for colour ringed Wags. This year birds will have one colour about the metal ring on the left leg and two colour rings on the right. Could be anyone of the below colours.