Thursday, 13 March 2014

Farmland Birds Proving Elusive at Ty'n y Caeau

The weather looked perfect as we arrived just before 06:30 for what we hoped to be a productive session at the farm. We set up the usual set of five nets (2x12m and 3x18m) and as we were feeling confident (or possibly desperate) an extra two (1x12m and 1x18m) next to the feeder store area. By this time the sun had risen and burnt off the cloud and we had a brilliantly sunny day in prospect. However the wind was also starting to gust. A trickle of early birds were led off by a male Linnet
On such a sunny morning it was pleasing to hear a number of Skylarks singing and a pair were in what appeared to be aerial combat in the centre of the field. We decided to do a bit of Skylark chasing so set up 2 more nets at the field margin, with sound, in an attempt catch the birds whose main concentration may be on other pressing matters.
Unfortunately by 11am the wind had become a veritable gale and so we had little option but to pack up. There will be better days.
The slim pickings for the day were:

Sunny Sunday Introduction March 9th

On a very pleasant morning Dave and Chris were joined by a new trainee. Alex had had to wait some time because of the weather to have her first session to get a flavour of ringing with the Kenfig Ringing Group. We set up 4x18m nets in the usual places around the reserve centre. With limited time available it was good to have a small number of birds to enable them to be looked at without the attendant pressure that comes with large numbers. Though short on numbers it was long on species with the obligatory Blue Tit showing up for a trainee to see such a small bird with a big attitude.
The list for the morning was:
The last bird of the day deserved a picture:

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Filming Interrupts events at Ty'n y Caeau Farm

With the weather at last clearing to enable some ringing in calm overcast conditions Heather, Cedwyn and Chris were able to see what Ty'n y Caeau could offer by way of farmland birds. The nets (3x18m and 2x12m) were set around first light by 7:00am. After the first net round, extracting just a few birds, our concern was raised by what seemed to be a helicopter in trouble just out in the channel. It turned out to be the filming of an episode of Casualty. At lot of noise for what will probably be just a few minutes of film. Back to the birds - we caught a total of 21. While not a lot of birds they were nicely interspersed to allow for thorough evaluation in ageing of some tricky birds (well for me the trainee anyway). A few of the yellowhammers had at least read Svenson and decided to conform. Others had decided on a mixed approach to age related features.

The full list for the morning being:

We did manage this time to take some pictures: