Thursday, 7 April 2011

Blackcap arrival, ringing demo's and rain

Its been a busy week here in the Desert with 4 ringing demonstrations for local school kids. with so many early mornings i was grateful the clocks had changed. But its worth it when you see the faces of the children, and we already have a couple of youngsters attending regularly on their way to school.

Meidad showing the children he knows where about in the world we are
I'd noticed large numbers of sylvia warblers were congregating in a hedge close to the university, presumably for the rich nectar pickings it provides, and for a couple of years had wanted to put a net there, but the site close to the buildings and within range of all the cats the students keep and the fact that it was only just visible from our ringing table, had put me off until this springs low bird numbers. So i decided to go for it and put up a 6m net across the hedge and in 3 mornings i've had over 30 birds in it, i just regret not doing it sooner.
Strategically placed 6m net!!
One of the many Lesser whitethroats caught this week.

With hardly any rain all winter this week has seen two showers both arriving fortunately just as we were wrapping up the demos but the one storm gave us the first floods of the year, a bit too late to give us the Savannah like conditions of last year but none the less was very welcome indeed. Finally the blackcaps and other migrants have started to arrive, with catching numbers rising from single figures to over 30 birds a morning, i have no time to sit and watch the Fat sand rat running from one patch of vegetation to another and back again any more.

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