Graham, Kim, Ian and I went to the pools Thursday evening to 'work' the Swallow roost. We had clear skies with a 15 mph westerly wind at first that dropped to nothing when the Swallows arrived. There was probably a good 800 Swallows roosting alongside about 2,500 Starlings. There was very little on the pools other than three Moorhens, three Coots, a Little Grebe and two Mallards.
We ringed 70 Swallows, plus two controls, and two Reed Warblers.
Fast forward to the 'trough' that was the ringing session Ian and I had in the reedbed this morning. It was the first morning that felt really autumnal with a heavy dew and some early morning mist which made me think of Keats's 'Odes To Autumn':
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Apologies for the literary interlude there!
From a birding perspective it was really quiet with just 27 House Martins, nine Swifts, a Grasshopper Warbler, three Shovelers, ten Little Grebes and ten Tufted Ducks the birds of any note.
We ringed fourteen birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):
Woodpigeon - 1
Song Thrush - 2
Reed Warbler - 1 (1)
Blackcap - 1
Reed Bunting - 2
Whitethroat - 5
Willow Warbler - 1
Blue Tit - 1
Back home I had a reasonable catch in my moth trap with 42 moths of fourteen species (well the ones I could identify anyway) as follows:
Marbled Beauty - 2
Heart And Dart - 2
Large Yellow Underwing - 9
Herald - 1
Uncertain (it is a moth species!) - 4
Least Yellow Underwing - 4
Common Wainscot - 1
Common Rustic - 6
Buff Arches - 1
Dark Arches - 5
Common Wave - 2
Dot Moth - 2
Buff Ermine - 2
Heart And Club - 1
I'm full of cold at the minute (no sympathy please), but I will attempt to be up at first light tomorrow and if I don't make it for then, due to the intake of pale golden medicine served in a pint glass, I will be at the Swallow roost tomorrow evening weather permitting.