Thursday, June 9, 2011

Three ringers, three rookies

Thursday morning and the alarm went off at 0500. A quick wash, cup of coffee, porridge and brush of teeth  made me ready for a 0550 start helping with some bird ringing. Three regular ringers, Dave Bookless, Bill Haines and Helen Demopoulos were accompanied by Thomas our French volunteer, Marc a German volunteer and myself. As we approached the site whitethroats, chiffchaffs, blackcaps and parakeets taunted us to catch them, so we erected six lots of mist nets.This meant that one of us had to endure thistles, brambles and nettles just to put the guy ropes in.
 Once up it did not take long for our first bird - a juvenile robin - to offer itself up for stardom. We had to wait a little longer for subsequent customers to do the same. I noted lots of stitchwort, teasel, vetch, various rurnuculii, goats beard and speedwells in the area in which we were ringing. The previous two days without seeing a single parakeet were overshadowed in what became almost a surfeit of this noisy but beautiful bird. Time to check the nets again meant we caught whitethroat, blackcap and a garden warbler.

 Another robin made it difficult for us to weigh, due to its grabbing the edge of the weighing cup with its beak. Offering it a finger enabled us to complete our task. Other birds recorded throughout the morning included blue tit, great tit, dunnock, long-tailed tit and a stunning male bullfinch. Then in an oak quite close to us, a male kestrel landed to have his mid morning snack. In what appeared to be no time at all it was 11.30 and time to take our nets down, A slight shower helped us to do this fairly quickly. As we got to the last net the rain ceased. We had this set up in the shape of a V so two of us could not see round the corner. Thomas our French apprentice was jumping up and down excitedly. We briskly joined him and saw the object of his joy. It was a green woodpecker. Carefully extracting the bird then taking the nets down, we called our other colleagues back to the recording area. It proved to be a mature female.

 What a stunning bird to end our six hour activity. Returning home to the A Rocha Centre another pleasant surprise greeted us - apple crumble. It was the Centre staff thanking me for bringing a local ( to me) cheese, Blacksticks Blue.
ps I will add some pics when I get home

No comments:

Post a Comment