Its been a while since our last post but don't worry we haven't left the country (yet). The weather hasn't been conducive to ringing of late; a tad on the windy and/or wet side. With the weather improving we decided to head to Cosmeston to ring Coots on Saturday.
During our several Coot ringing outings, CJ has steadfastly declined the opportunity to ring one (when one has been available), preferring his first to be one he'd caught himself. On Saturday the first Coot both caught and ringed was by CJ, affording him much quiet pleasure. It was also Wayne's first Coot ringing experience.
As the weather is getting colder the Coots are becoming slightly bolder, but still all we could muster was five, caught in quick succession. Given the time of year there aren't as many Coot as we'd expect, and without safety in numbers they are still a little bit too wary for a big morning's catch. There is, on the whole, a bit of a dearth of waterfowl on the lakes compared to most years. Either that or the last two winters have spoilt us.
With the Coot on to us, we broke camp for another part of the lake to try for what some would call "proper birds". Sadly, despite a myriad traps, all we could achieve was a retrapped Dunnock. But we did get some Mallards - important G closing practise for the assembled trainees.
Finishing on five new Coot, three new Mallard, and a retrap Tufted Duck, plus the Dunnock, and covered in 'fowl crap, we headed for breakfast.
With the morning's session complete, and breakfast consumed, the group dispersed. On the drive home CJ and Facey decided that a bit more ringing was in order, so headed to the Stables - adding a retrapped Robin and 13 new Long-tailed Tits to the day's totals. This brings the Stables' total for the year to 211 new birds; a bit of a milestone as it's the first time we've breached the 200 mark here. It might not sound a lot but for a site where once the nest boxes are empty and the Swallows have departed, all that is caught is the odd Blackbird, Dunnock or Robin and we are quite pleased. You never know, we might make the dizzy, dizzy heights of 250 before the year is out. You have to have dreams people, you have to have dreams.