Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Easter Escapades

We’ve been a little patchy with our updates of late, mainly as nothing much has been happening. Nets have gone up, birds haven’t necessarily gone in. Easter, however is a time for celebration – after all it brings a four day weekend which in turn means ringing, ringing and more ringing.

Our tale starts on Thursday with a visit to our favourite wetlands reserve here in Cardiff, where several species of warbler, including stripy and non-stripy migrant ones, and 10 tail-feathered resident types graced us with their presence.

Friday involved slightly more of a lie-in as is befitting a bank holiday and, as our plan was to catch dippers at some sites in the Rhondda Valley we didn’t need to be up pre-dawn! Only two of us made it on this particular expedition but it’s safe to say the crew was quality. Ahem.

Our visit was more than just a chance to catch dippers. Like many of the South Wales Valleys, the Rhondda has had its fair share of “Land Reclamation Sites” – that’s open cast mining and quarrying to the likes of you and us. Since the cessation of environmental hostilities, these sites, including their streams, have been remodelled. We’ve been charged with looking at how dippers have reacted to such sites, which streams have worked and generally give them a good looking at.  Luckily for us, we treated this first outing as something of a recce to get the lay of the land. This of course gives us a perfect excuse as to why we failed to catch any of the white breasted ones – again.

We did manage to catch a single grey wagtail which in many ways is better than catching a dipper; in 2010 only 37 grey wags were ringed in Wales (only five in Glamorgan), compared to 575 dippers (18 in Glamorgan)!

A photo of our grey wagtail in the style of Dave bull

With Saturday ear-marked as a day of rest (and recovery if you catch the drift), Sunday saw us back at a favourite site. A nice morning with a few more migrants but more importantly an opportunity to meet a soon to be permanent member of the Cardiff Ringers, who will fit in very well!

1 comment:

  1. Too, too, kind.

    Excellent to meet up with you all, enjoyed it.