Monday, 20 October 2014

Swindon STW 11th October 2014

Hi, every single day I've been ringing there has been one thing that has made my day. Today was no exception with 4 fantastic birds and 1 Difficult bird to catch. Our team Was Matt P, Paul A, Jack N and I Which was a solid lineup discounting me ;)

Today we set up Wader nets as well as the norm, this is because of Snipe and other migratory species which occur in the reeds and scrapes. A quick setting up of the nets and we were off... The first net round was good. The only worrying signs was the weather which was starting to drizzle, and there was a slight breeze. Not enough to take down the nets however, but still made life that bit more difficult! A Snipe was the first surprise/quality bird of the morning and amazingly the first one that Paul A had ringed! Even though he's ringed a Jack Snipe!!!
Stonking birds that just hit anreve for me, brilliant! on the next net round we were encouraged to hurry up as now the weather was picking up, you'll be glad to hear that the nets were taken down while at it. Just after ringing a Chiffchaff I went to pick up a bag then I felt this absolute lummox inside. A Teal! Even though it's the smallest duck in the UK it has a nice pot belly! It was a small challenge manging to get the ring on the bird due to the stiff ring, but I managed to after a bit of assitance...
Although not the cracking male (being a 1st winter female) it still had a charm... Thankfully the wind and rain cleared up but was a bit of pain as we had to close them at the peak hour!!! Just after setting them up we were onto the next round. A very hard bird to catch if not specifically targeting turned up... It was a chunky Moorhen that managed to crash into one of our nets like a cannon! Paul A ringed this and was yet another new bird for him! 
The next round was a good one with three beautiful birds, all the same ones!
This is my first time that I've taken a photo like this!

Yes Grey Wagtails, a suspected full brood of them that got drawn in by the appealing calls by an outflow pipe! Jack N had to go by this time, sadly he missed some good action! A Cetti's Warbler was up at the Bund, the third one this year. Which is a good sigh of colonisation, Paul even heard one calling in the reed bed in the morning. The only let down being that they were all juveniles, we just need them to hang on at this site for colonization.

Diagnostically large fan-tailed appearance and white supercillium, giving th impression of an enlarged  Wren, It is not very often you'll see these birds let alone handle them. I was amazed to get given the all green to ring it! More was to come but from a wader net and a continental bird. A Water Rail, the pig of the reeds!
Very unusual bird with incredible agility and powerful wings. Once again I was very lucky to be able to ring such a bird. The only other two birds of note was an old Reed Bunting and probably the last Reed Warbler of the season. 
THe full list below is thanks to

Water Rail 1, Teal 1, Snipe 2, Moorhen 1, Pied Wagtail 20, Grey Wagtail 3, Blackcap 13 (2), Chiffchaff 10, Cettis Warbler 1, Reed Warbler 1, Reed Bunting 2 (3), Robin 2 (1), Dunnock 6 (2), Wren 7 (2), Song Thrush 2 (1), Blue Tit 0 (1)

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