Huw, Ian and I 'worked' the Swallow roost again last night and numbers had built up to at least 3,500 since last Monday (29th July). We had a controlled catch and ringed 66 birds. When I say 'controlled' I mean that we MP3 lured the birds in until we had caught enough and then we turn the MP3s off, extracted the birds quickly, and quietly took the nets down and left the roosting area to minimise disturbance. I like to catch early so that we can release the birds safely back into the roost with sufficient daylight. It would easily be possible to ring a lot more than this with a bigger team, but alas the number of active ringers in our group is limited.
Out of the 45 birds that Huw and I handled only two were adults (4%), which wasn't surprising giving the numbers of birds coming in to roost.
There wasn't much to report pre-roost except that Ian had a Hobby earlier over the pools and after it had caught a dragonfly it headed towards the roost. We fantasised that perhaps it might chase some Swallows into the roost, but in reality that was never going to happen. Instead we had to be satisfied by watching a male Sparrowhawk darting through the willows. Not a Hobby, but still a stunning bird!