Saturday, 12 September 2009

Surprise Catch

The question last night was what to do this morning. It was going to be clear and virtually flat calm. Not the right conditions for grounded migrants but it would certainly be okay from a ringing perspective in terms of the wind and mist nets. As we haven't done any ringing for about 4 weeks we were keen to get out. The usual Friday night phone call to Phil ensued where we analyse the weather and decide where to go and what are strategy will be. Phil suggested we go to Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park, rather than Rawcliffe Moss, because as he put it "I would rather only put up two nets and catch nothing, rather than put up eight nets and catch nothing"!

So we found ourselves at Fleetwood at 0615 and were joined by Craig who had driven up from Cornwall the evening before having only 3 hours sleep! Two nets were put up in the Willow scrub and various tape lures were set to try and entice some of the vis down to our nets. In the end we ringed 25 birds including 5 Dunnocks, 5 Great Tits, a late juv Reed Warbler, 6 Meadow Pipits and we retrapped 2 Blue Tits with one of them getting on a bit having been ringed as a juv in July 2005 and it has never been retrapped since.

Now, the above pictures weren't taken today as I made the 'school boy' error of not ensuring that the battery in my camera was charged and when I tried to take a photograph my camera died. Thankfully we didn't catch anything really stonking or otherwise I would have been kicking myself and begging a picture from Phil!

You have probably gathered that I have a fondness for North American warblers and below you will find a pic of a Mourning Warbler taken at Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station, Toronto. I am a member of TTPBRS and I robbed this picture from an e-bulletin I received recently. Have a look at their blog via the link to the right.

Retracing our steps a bit, when we first arrived on site and were driving round to the ringing area we had 55 Lapwings get up from the pools. During the morning we had a few Snipe go over on vis and 3 dropped in with a single Redshank. A distant skein of about 150 Pink-footed Geese headed south as did 15 Grey Wagtails, 100 Meadow Pipits, 18 Linnets, 5 Goldfinch and 20 Alba Wagtails. The Alba Wags lingered on the pool for a while before heading south; they were completely uninterested in the tape.

Not a bad mornings ringing at all.

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