Thursday, 15 September 2011


Yesterday evening could have ended on a low. The last chance to catch(up) with swallows at the ambulance station at Blackweir lack one vital ingredient – swallows.

As the evening was young, RJF took CJ on a tour of Cardiff’s premier swallow site; Cardiff Riding School. Swallows weren’t our aim. It was time for a bit of birding and a poke around to show CJ the site. It soon became apparent that chiffs were on the move as the site was hopping with them; one particular “hedge line” was very busy. When the Gods of Ringing put catchable birds in front of you there is only one thing you can do – go back to the car and get the nets out.

Two 10ft nets, a lotti tape, and some expert herding later and 8 chiff and 2 bluti were ringed. Surprisingly the bluti were not retraps, despite us having ringed what seemed like a ring string's worth of pulli there this year*.

Eight chiffs, we will grant you, is not a huge number – we can catch that in a net round down the bay. But for RJF, who has spend many a year trying to make the site “work” for species other than swallows and tits in boxes, this was a veritable fall of small warblers, the first time the species has been rung at the site, and he was most pleased. RJF now has something new to do of a September evening!

Katia seems to have finished providing ups with windy weather, which is a relief, so hopefully we can get our while we still have migrants on the move.

*this is of course a complete exaggeration.

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