Last Sunday, after a lot of sleep!, I packed my waders and traveled down to Glasgow, Scotland's unofficial capital, to met up with some members of the Clyde Ringing Group (CRG) for my first drag netting session.
After arriving at the ringing site we were greeted by singing Skylarks above, my first of the year and always reminds me gorgeous hot warm summer days. Unfortunately it wasn't a gorgeous hot summer's day but instead a typically Scottish cold, blustery one! The aim of the game was to catch Jack Snipe, a species I had both never seen nor ringed. Iain Livingstone and CRG have been targeting Jack Snipe for an impressive 18 years!
I had never been drag netting before and so didn't know quite what to expect. It was very hard going, traipsing through thigh high thick reeds but after 2 hours we finally struck gold and caught our first Jack Snipe and what a bird!
I was expecting to see a nice looking brown and golden striped wee bird, what I got was a stunning beauty! I had no idea they were so beautiful with their bright greens, golds and even purple, their feathers were something else! It was by far the most beautiful bird I had ever seen and it was a privilege to ring it, something I won't forget in a hurry.
We soon had our second and last bird of the day, another cracking Jack Snipe which the guys very kindly let me ring too. It was very hard work but completely worth it to see such amazing birds, even the strange looks we got off passing dog walkers!
A bonus for the day was not falling in, something I was definitely expecting to do! A very big thanks goes to Iain Livingstone for inviting me, the team and The Clyde Ringing Group. I really enjoyed my first time drag netting, even had a go of 'dragging' myself and can't wait until the next time.
So there we have it my 80th species and to have it in Scotland's unofficial capital too! I will have been ringing for 2 years this Monday and I never thought I would be doing all of this when I first started. Thank you to everyone who has helped and trained me over the last two year and hears to the next 2, who knows what they will bring!