Saturday, 8 August 2015

Peaks and Troughs

I came up with my blog title when I thought we were going to have a really poor catch whilst out ringing this morning, but in the end it turned out just about okay, but not brilliant. Let's rewind though to the 'peak' that was Thursday evening at the Swallow roost.

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

 Song Thrush

Willow Warbler

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

 Buff Arches

Buff Ermine


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.

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