Monday, 12 August 2013

500 birds and 19 ringers.

Put a group of trainers, A and C permit holders and trainees together and you are bound to end up with ideas exchanged and new practices adopted, differences in techniques compared and friendships made. The ringing workshop arranged by Kelvin from BTO Cymru together with the TRG was successful and hopefully will be repeated again.
Arfon, Tony and Heather pictured here deep in teaching mode during a CES session on the reserve.
Having adopted the plastic bag method of putting away nets that we were taught in Costa Rica we shared our liking of the technique with others. Although Matt and Robin are looking a little bemused I think they approved!
Paddy's upland  ringing site at Ty Rhyg in the Preseli hills was popular with those that went there - a lot of birds of good variety including Willow Tits, Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart, Lesser Redpolls and Grasshopper Warblers. By Saturday night the wind speed had picked up and unfortunately the Tern catch at Ynyslas was unsuccessful but those that went had a chance to lamp some Dunlin. Despite getting back to their tents at 3am they all still managed to be up early for mist netting the next morning!
Sunday night at Strumble Head turned out to be the last session as Monday was far too windy to fit in a last couple of hours on the reserve. Conditions were not ideal to try to catch Storm Petrels but as it was to be a new experience for some we decided to put the net up anyway as a learning exercise. Our optimism was rewarded with 3 Storm Petrels by midnight.
Thanks to Pam at the excellent Cardigan Camping and Touring Caravan site where the BTO flag marked the happy campers corner.
Thanks also to the Welsh Wildlife Centre where lunchtime chats were fueled by the tasty food in the Glasshouse Cafe.
After the success of this year we hope to make this a regular event and recommend that other groups plan similar weekends to give ringers a chance for feedback on their skills and assessment for permit upgrades.

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