Tuesday, 23 August 2016


Since the end of July there has been a Swallow roost at the Obs and the roost has been centred on two areas of pools and reeds within close proximity of each other. Traditionally the Swallows have roosted at just one site, so the fact that they are coming in to two areas has afforded us the luxury of being able to attempt to catch and ring some on every available evening without disturbing the birds.

The roost peaked at 10,000 birds a couple of weeks ago and a Hobby and Merlin have appeared on some occasions to hunt the Swallows as they come in to roost along side a couple of Sparrowhawks.

Last night Ian and I had a ringing session at the Swallow roost and we ringed 114 birds as follows:

Swallow - 107
Sand Martin - 5
Reed Warbler - 2


There were approximately 6,000 Swallows roosting and also at least 5,000 Starlings that fortunately kept well away from our net. It was nice to see a Yellow Wagtail coming into roost with the Swallows, but sadly long gone are the days when they used to roost in good double figures! A moulting Gadwall on the pool was a nice addition and if I kept a year list it might well have been a year tick, whatever one of them is!

A quick look back at a notebook from 2013 reminds me that I need to clear the net rides in the coastal fields and hedges at the Obs, as 22nd August in 2013 was my first ringing session in that part of the Obs for the autumn that year. Looking back it was a quiet morning with just a single Black-tailed Godwit in the 'front' field of note!

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