Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Another Firecrest, Water Rail, Woodcock and more

Some interesting species ringed on the Teifi Marsh this week.
Last Saturday the highlight was an adult Water Rail. We had heard a lot squealing from the reeds but were quite surprised to find one in a net on the edge of the reed bed as we don't catch many.
 Water Rails are skulkers and usually a challenge for photographers so it was a privilege to be able to study the plumage in detail particularly these well-marked undertail coverts.
That day we also caught the first Stonechat on the reserve, a Cetti's Warbler, some Redwing and Reed Buntings.
After the excitement of a Belgian ringed Firecrest that just Chris and I saw last week, our trainee was very pleased to be able to study one in the hand as we caught another one on Sunday. 

One of the advantages of being out at dawn on the reserve is to enjoy gorgeous sunrises over the marsh. This week, the spectacle of tens of thousands of Starlings coming out of roost has added to that pleasure..
We have caught some more Starlings this week as they go into roost. The noise and smell in the reed bed has to be experienced to be believed.
 They are interesting birds to try to age and sex but often ambiguous.
Away from the marsh, our efforts have been mainly on lamping birds at night. The fields have been quiet and only last night did we ring the first Woodcock of the season. It was a three species night with Fieldfare and Golden Plover ringed too.

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