Monday, 9 January 2012

Weekend endeavours

This weekend's ringing here in Cardiff was a bit of a mixed bag. Saturday we were at the bay, a little mob handed for the meagre 10 birds that graced our nets (1.4 birds each…). For a change for this time of year, we only caught one blue tit.

Sunday morning saw CJ and Facey trying for gulls at Roath Park, with their gull to bread ration being 0:5. The gulls were just not interested, with even the swans and geese apathetic to the feast on offer. Lessons learnt:

1)     Don’t try catching gulls at Roath park after a glorious Saturday
2)     Spar bread is far more expensive than ASDA…

Sunday evening saw a return to the bay for a starling roost catch. Over the last month or so between 1000-1500 of them have been roosting at the bay. The spectacle of murmurating starlings was enjoyed with a mixture of awe and gut wrenching anxiety as around 1500 starlings dropped in on the net ride. We caught 17. Some may say a meagre offering considering the numbers at roost; these would be people who have not had to extract more than one starling.

Go on, you know you want to count them...
 We also had a net up for roosting waterfowl/wader types. While we extracted the starlings near by, Ti gave us reports on the other nets contents and displayed excellent initiative (which he proceed to recount for most of the evening); he’ll make a good ringer that one. Three Redshank were bagged and as we processed our wader and starling catch a mallard dropped in to round off proceedings. Both species new for the site.

One of three - no not a Borg designation, its a redshank

Billy Wizz process his redshank

Quackers: Technically we took a picture of the starlings.
They were just in bags...
By the end of play Sunday the weekend’s totals stand at:

Blackbirds – 4
Dunnock – 3
Blue tit - 1
Lesser Redpoll – 1
Long tailed-tit – 1
Starling – 17
Redshank – 3
Mallard – 1

On a more personal note we said farewell to Dr O who moved to Northumberland to work with rusty tree rats.