Sunday, 31 July 2011

This Week

A brief update of the groups activities over this last week.

Firstly - we broke the 100 bird mark on Thursday at the bay! Our first triple figure session of the year. We were joined by Gillian again who gives a good account of the session up until 8am when most of us had to leave to go to work or various university related meetings, leaving CJ and Rosie M to the nets. When the nets were closed 102 birds had been entered into the notebook ready for a mammoth IMPR session (and you thought ringing was all glitz, glamour and bacon sandwhiches...). As an added bonus both reed and sedge warblers gave up plenty of poo for Vaf's upcoming return to student-hood.

Saturday saw another go at sand martins which was vaguely successful. We managed 14 new birds bring the grand (not year total) for the site to 101 birds (100 new, 1 control). 80 of these have been adults so we would have scope for a RAS which is something to ponder, but we'll a) have to find the other colonies along the river and b) increase our catching efficiency. After sand martins we adjourned to the bay for breakfast and another 40 something birds, only one of which provided a poo sample. Top marks went to Billy Whizz who was the only trainee who did both sessions - the others crying off with excuses such as "I need to go to bed" and "I have to catch a train". Yeah, and the dog ate your pliers...

Ti, starting his ringing career, with one of this
seasons sand martins. Cracking shot of Dr O too... 

Saturday afternoon saw more hirundine action in the form of another brood of swallows at the stables. Now we just have 11 rings to make a 100 swallows in the park this year and, touching wood, should the remaining broods survive and clutches hatch, we'll easily make this! We'd be there already but have missed a couple of broods due to time, logistics and more importantly a deep rooted fear of large four legged animals that can kick and bite. We should point out that the horses at the Cardiff Riding School are very well mannered - we are just wimps. Second broods are well underway; one has already fledged, another two are close to fledging, another two have well grown chicks and another two being laid! But more of that at the end of the season.

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