Friday, 29 July 2011

Ringing in The City - 28th July 2011

On Thursday I was kindly invited by Rich Facey to join The Cardiff Ringers in Cardiff for a spot of early morning ringing before work. I hadn't driven into Cardiff before and was quite surprised how easy it was and that I didn't get lost, not like driving in Glasgow!

I arrived at the site in Cardiff Bay at 5.30am and met up with the rest of the ringers. They have a lovely site with reedbeds, ponds and scrub. It doesn't feel like you are in the middle of a city when your at the site.

Cardiff Bay

I ringed until 8am when I had to leave to go into work - covered in mud of course! I processed 16 birds, the site get's good numbers of retraps. Species for the day included Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler and Willow Warbler.

Sedge Warbler. I adore the plumage on these guys.

Willow Warbler - "You looking at me?"

I also got a very nice little surprise; as I was on a net round extracting mainly Reed Warblers I came across an unfamiliar bird. I stood there with the bird in my hand staring at with a confused expression on my face thinking to myself "well it's not a Reed Warbler!". Then it dawned on me; could it be a Garden Warbler? It was a Garden Warbler - my first! What a pretty little bird and one that I hadn't seen before. I ended up ringing 2 new Garden Warblers by the end of the morning - what a delight! I certainly wasn't expecting a new species that morning.

My first Garden Warbler

What a beaut!

Juvenile Garden Warbler

As if ringing a Garden Warbler wasn't a treat enough I then got my breakfast cooked for me again! I think these Cardiff Ringers are onto something with this cooked breakfast thing - I've brought along bananas and short bread to ringing sessions before but I must say it was very nice to have a hot breakfast. Big thanks to Chef Rich!

The Chef

A strange experience for the morning was checking Reed Warbler's bums for poo! Yes poo, one of the Cardiff Ringers is a PhD student and is collecting Reed Warbler poo for their project. Every time some poo is found it gets placed into a little pot with the owner of the poo's ring number written on it. Another new experience for me then!

How to correctly label poo!

Poo in a pot!

It was great to be out ringing before work and a very successful, enjoyable morning was had. After I dragged myself covered in mud into work I went and checked on the Swallow nests with Tony Jenkins. 2 of the nests will be ready for ringing next week - which will probably be my last ringing experience at WWT Llanelli...sniff,sniff! Big thanks goes to the Cardiff Ringers (some of whom later turned up at my work, stalkers!) and I hope to see you again in the future, happy ringing!

Swallow chick
Now I'm off to The Mini Wash Week and hopefully there will be a very special blog post when I get back!

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