Thursday, 28 January 2016

No Dippers but.....

This morning I decided to have a few hours on the river at the bottom of my garden to see if I could catch a Dipper. I had already seen one a few days earlier flying up and down. I put the net up across the river and furled it last night before it went dark, in readiness for a quick start.

After about half an hour I was hopeful having seen a bird about 30 metres down stream, however that's as far as it went. I did walk downstream and upstream the long way round to see if there were any birds on the river that maybe would fly towards the net but it wasn't to be.

Then came the surprise a Sparrowhawk with a partially eaten Starling flew from upstream into the net. I dashed down to extract it and it had a ring on its leg. Back at the car I processed the bird. The ring was one of mine and was originally caught on 15th October 2015 as a 3M from my other site at Fygin Common.

It was good to catch this bird and it shows what a large feeding area the smaller raptors can have. Since I caught it in October last year it increased its weight by 15.7gms.

Monday, 18 January 2016

First Woodcock of 2016

Last night I decided to go to one of my sites to see if there were any Woodcock about. The rain in my part of Wales has been daily since November the 2nd last year, consequently the ground was sodden and surface water was lying everywhere.

Not deterred I decided to have a go. Walking down the path a Woodcock was feeding on the path edge but appeared startled and flew away within a few steps of my approach. Encouraged it wasn't until I was at the end of the last field I spotted another lying amongst clumps of Junctus. The wind had picked up and it had started to rain again which I used to my advantage and squelched my may very slowly to the bird with the wind and rain in my face and was fortunate enough to catch it.

An adult bird with a wing length of 211mm and weight of 345gms

After processing the bird I placed it on the grass and it stayed there for a while enabling a me to take a couple more pictures.