Sunday, 20 November 2011

Dippers to Ducks

The November Dipper visit on Friday to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales' Taf Fechan Reserve saw us maintain our "new bird streak" with no retrapped dippers being caught. True we didn't catch any dippers, or anything else for that matter. This was slightly disappointing as we had been joined by Dr Larus Ross-Smith of Flat Holm and BTO fame who was hoping to pop her dipper cherry.

Spending time at Taf Fechan is never a chore, regardless of catch success. If you live in or near Merthyr and have never been there then Shame On You. Its easy enough to find, so go visit.

Our efforts on Saturday were more fruitful. Firstly we were joined on site by Wayne Morris, local BTO rep, and of course a session is never dull when Ti the Tyke is about. The session began very slowly with only eight birds caught in the first two hours; although among these was a 3 female Bullfinch which is always nice to see, and Vaf got to colour ring another Cetti's Warbler. Given the slack nature of the morning we decided to pack up and try our luck with some Coot. However, the Gods of Ringing smiled, and as we took down the nets M1 and M2 filled with birds; Lesser Redpolls, Greenfinches and a few Blabis too. We ended on 29!
Number four

Our next stop was Cosmeston where we hoped to add some more Coot to the colour ringing project. A mild November has not helped our cause so we were keen to get some more. Arriving at Cosmeston we were somewhat perturbed to find a paucity of waterfowl. Even the swans seemed thin on the ground. The Coots took some interest in the corn on offer but not enough to bring them in close enough.

Its at this point a random lady and her two children started feeding bread to the assembled birds; the Coots went mad for it. Two minutes later, after quick explanation of who we were (imagine that...), she and her kiddies were showering our feet with bread and two more coot were secured for the project. This woman will never read this blog but we would like to say a massive THANK YOU for your help! A spin off of this ladies assistance was Wayne's first time holding a coot; an experience best described as shitty.

Its amazing how few people will throw bread at a strangers feet on request, so with few birds coming to corn we had to be content with a Mute Swan and a Tuftie. We could have done many more of the former but we like to keep them in reserve for the Very Quiet days.

The Man that Stares at Ducks

We ended the session with resighting a darvic ringed Black-headed Gull. It'll go through the proper channels of course but if you know any thing about E2CV (white with black lettering) then let us know!

Sunday was a day of rest.

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