As is usual at this time of year, meeting at 6am feels like mid-morning, but the weather was perfect, overcast and no more than a breath of wind. In the first round we caught 24 birds, the second produced 28 and as we were expecting it to quieten down the third then came up with 34, so we’d caught 86 birds before about 09:30. Luckily it didn’t really get too hot until lunchtime and we took down at about 13:30 finishing on 117 birds (80 new, 37 retrap)
Of course young birds made up a large proportion of the catch with the first decent flush of young warblers (Chiff, Willow, Blackcap, Reed) and lots of young Reed Buntings. We also caught young Willow Tit and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Old birds included a 6 or 7 yr old Chaffinch and two similarly aged Reed Warblers. 2 adult male Willow Warblers trapped were already moulting. We had to release one Sedge that had fungus on its legs. I’d not seen it on this species before.
Once the nets were down we had a session looking for Reed Warbler nests. Although we found 10 or 12, not one had ringable chicks. Some had already fledged, one had tiny young and several were still on eggs. We also checked the Pochard nest and it appears to be finished with. Let’s hope the ducklings got off all right.
The day didn’t stop there though and three of us headed for Newton to ring Swallow chicks at the livery yard. We also saw a ringed Pied Wagtail of unknown origin but didn't catch it. Maybe another day...
PS Is this Water Figwort? Can anyone confirm? We found it on the edge of the reedbed. Have pics of leaves if it helps.