SRG member Ed writes:
Saturday 13th August
The usual checking in time of 0430 hrs saw the arrival of John, Mick, Dawn, Adam (recently returned from holiday) and I at the entrance to the disused rail track.
This morning was different for a couple of reason, firstly it is much darker now than usual and torches were needed to find the guys and poles for putting the nets up. Secondly, I had arranged for us to provide a ringing demonstration for my local photography group who call themselves Just Digital, so nine visitors were due to arrive at 0730 hrs. (For the Just Digital website: click here )
With a strong breeze and some patchy drizzle our first net round was poor indeed with only twelve birds being caught.
The weather did eventually turn for the better and the next net round saw our usual numbers return. At least it looked as though we were going to have some birds to show our visitors.
I knew the photographers were going to be keen but the first one showed up some fifty minutes early, and the others were not too far behind!
John did an excellent job of showing them the birds, giving them more information on each of the species and letting them photograph them. Between net rounds the cameras were focused on all the insects around including butterflies (Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper), Dragonflies, Damselflies, Hoverflies, Bees and Wasps.
After a weak start the bird numbers soon padded out to the expected numbers. A total of 120 birds, 71 new and 49 retraps were processed.
Tree Sparrows (15 new, 10 retraps) and Whitethroats (13 new, 5 retraps) were the most numerous birds on the day and took our already record breaking ringing totals for this year to 252 and 353 respectively.
Amongst the birds that caught the eyes of the visitors were Lesser Whitethroat, Bullfinch, Greenfinch and a juvenile Goldfinch.
One of the visiting photographers, Debbie, was so impressed with all that was going on that she was soon asking about joining the Ringing Group as a helper. Not long after that Debbie was asking about what was involved in becoming a trainee and, apparently, more than happy to meet us next Saturday at our later start time of 0500 hrs!