Thursday, 22 May 2014

Swindon STW (First ringing session) 22nd May 2014


What a day I had... I started off by waking up at 6 then later to arrive at 7, that was hard enough!!!
I was met by the ringer at the gates of the Swindon sewerage works (we had private access to a premises behind it). I wasn't expecting it to be much knowing that it's near the middle of Swindon, no offence. However, when I first saw it I was just raring to go, there were about 8 different pools which were approximately 20 m x 10 m, and they were all filled up with reeds. Also due to us being there early (not that early for them but anyway), the chorus was fantastic between the whitethroats and the reeds.

The first thing that I did was sit in a camping chair in this little cabin, around me were small bags that seemed to be wriggling... Next the ringer put his hand in one and pulled out a common whitethroat, it was a fantastic make which was rather relaxed in the ringers grip. This was a re trap so checked it's wings and weight than dropped out a window right next to him. The group (which was a lady and two men then me) finished ringing then went out to check out the mist nets that were set up round the sight, 10 to be precise. Oh and I forgot to say we caught a female grasshopper warbler or Gropper as they say, which are supposedly quite rare as they spend most of their time running on the floor.

While out there we heard a male gropper reeling in the hedges and every time we tried to find it, it changed position. The ringer and I found a few birds in the net, I was surprised how fast he was able to untangle it, he told me that he's one of the fastest around... No surprise then!!!

After practicing the grip and sorting the exchange from the passing and ringers grip. The grip had many nick names for birds so tested me and we're going this is a dududududududududu. I managed to get a few correct, still a bit rusty then.

Anyway, later on we caught the male grasshopper that was the mate to the female we caught, result... Until he told me that I had to ring it! I was so nervous but kept my cool and managed to ring it and what a first bird, I was really chuffed. After finishing ringing we checked nest boxes then finally ringed a juvenile blue tit what a great way to finish it off!!!

Regards, Alex

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