Well the plan was to meet at the track gate at 5 as usual. But on my arrival at 4.45 I saw headlights coming up the track from the direction of the reservoir, it was Mick he'd got up early and erected half of the number of nets. Mick went off to meet Vivien at the groups headquarters The White Hart at South Kilworth. Viv was joining us for the day to be assessed for her C permit. Mick, Viv and Adam arrived back at the gate and we set off to erect the remaining nets. All nets were erected by 0600 so we had a quick coffee before setting off for the first round. Myself and Adam went one way and Mick and Viv went the other.On returning to the ringing area Adam and myself started processing our 30 or 40 birds. After a while we began to wonder where Mick and Viv had got too, when in the distance I saw Mick running ( that's a sight to behold. One I don't think I will ever see again, or should I say don't want to see again ha ha). He had run out of bird bags and came back to the cars to use ours. Mick went back to help Viv and on their return they were ladened down with birds. Myself and Viv set about ringing and even Adam had to forego his cup of tea to ring.The first round had produced over 100 new Blackcaps several Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs, but no Garden Warblers. We only needed 2 more this season to break the record for the group and reach 100 new birds. The second round again produced a large number of Blackcaps, Reed Warblers, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff and one solitary Garden Warbler (we had equaled the record). The next round produced more Blackcaps, Lesser Whitethroats and the 100th Garden Warbler ( a new record for the site). We continued with more net rounds, but fortunately there were fewer birds as the day progressed and the sun lit the nets like a beacons and we had time to have refreshments. By 1300 we had taken down all the nets and sat tallying our mornings ringing experience. We sat exhausted but what a fantastic mornings ringing, we had processed 331 birds of which 298 were new birds. Of that total Blackcap 216 (6) , Reed Warbler 10, Whitethroat 18, Sedge Warbler 5, Garden Warbler 2, Lesser Whitethroat 2, Willow Warbler 8 and Chiffchaff 18. Never has such a large number of birds been processed or Blackcaps ringed in one session in the history of the group.
What a awesome day. Time for a well deserved pint at the headquarters.