Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Time off work permitted me to join my trainer Chris Hughes for some weekday ringing at Ferry Meadows this morning. Even at 4.30am, it was clear it was going to be a hot and sticky day, and so it proved...
A successful visit with 137 birds trapped. I set a new personal 'best' with 37 birds extracted, of various shapes and sizes, including: Whitethroat, Bullfinch, Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tit, Garden Warbler, Blue and Great Tits and Wren. I am still embarrassingly slow and I insist on making things more complicated than necessary (according to Chris), but progress is being made, which is the important thing. I ringed 18 birds today (probably would have done more if things hadn't been so busy), including the Great Spotted Woodpecker.
We took quite a few photos in preparation for a feature I'm writing; however, I won't display them all here - I look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards. But, for the first time, here is the Ferry Meadows ringing site in all its luxuriant glory:
I probably should have taken a photo of the mud, which, at its worst is like walking through treacle. The key is to keep moving or you'll get stuck and be sucked down into the depths.
Chris at one of the nets
Chris picked up this, which we guessed was a Water Shrew. I don't know what to make of its smart white snout-stripe, though - is it just an aberrant individual, or something more unusual? Water Shrews are meant to have silvery hairs underneath their tail and on their feet, which I didn't notice. Comments, please!
By the time we finished (earlier than usual) at 12.30pm, I had a raging headache (despite drinking two litres of water), but it was fun!
What's in my CD player: Phantom Power - Super Furry Animals