Thursday, 13 September 2012

Cardiff Ringers on Tour

Last Friday morning seemed full of potential. The potential that those five unringed blackbirds would end up recruited into our RAS and a weekend in Devonshire would be replete with birdies.

At Pontcanna, nets were erected. We waited. A small skirmishing party headed in to the riding school to ring two of the three final swallow broods of 2012. After waiting three hours, during which six 60ft nets remained devoid of birds apart from a retrap blackbird and a new robin, we packed up.

In the afternoon a small contingent head undetected across the Severn Bridge to Sharpham Estate near Totnes in the land of Devonshire. We were ringers on tour with one aim; to bling as many migrants in a two day ringing blitz for the estate. A convenient board walk into part of the reed bed provided a ready made ride, that only needed a little bit of a tweaking. We thought the Gods of Ringing would be smiling on us for the next two days when they delivered a REEWA and a SEDWA within 10 minutes of the nets going up, closely followed by the "gift" of two Wrens... Sunset came, swallow calls were broadcast, a party of 60 flew over the reedbed, close to the net. Two were caught… One had an abscess.

The view from our ride; it provided good sightings of water rail,
and common and green sandpiper. Also a kingfisher nearly flew
into the net just before this photo was take. One of many misses
 Saturday we awoke to what appear to be the sound of rain on what was forecast to be sunny and still day. It was just fog dripping from leaves onto our tents. It hung around until gone 11; we caught a mere 6 birds in 9 hours. Robins and Dunnocks No swallows came to say hello. But we did get to eat a stonking rabbit, black-pudding and cider stew!

Sunday; tiny bit of fog. Things looked up when a SEDWA graced the nets. Then a BLACA.Then a retraped Wren and finally... a Blue Tit... The God's clearly hated us.

Meanwhile at the bay... CJ and the crew racked up 50+ birds.... But they didn't get the stew!

(Ed: and on Wednesday morning another 80 between showers, including a SPOFL)
One of only two SEDWAs and 6 migrants caught
in Devonshire in two days. Next year. Next year


  1. Much respect for your efforts, albeit seemingly futile this year!

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