The end I'm referring to of course is the end of this year's reed bed sessions.
Last night Colin, Stan and myself were back in the reed bed to see if there were any Swallows left after the recent winds. I wasn't feeling too hopeful. Having spent most of the day working outside at my house I hadn't seen or heard a single Swallow all day, until about 5 minutes before Stan picked me up when two zoomed across the garden heading South.
On arrival all seemed fairly quiet. As we set the nets up there was talk of whether we would get one more Sedge Warbler to make the 100 mark for the season or whether they had all left.
As Colin was setting up the last tape lure, Stan was stood just at the exit of the net run when I heard his dulcet tones callout "100" and I knew straight away that an inquisitive Sedge Warbler had popped out of the reeds straight into the net next to where Stan was standing.
As we walked out of the reed bed back to our ringing position there were a few Swallows starting to appear over the reed bed. Things were looking a bit more hopeful as their numbers increased although the first net round returned empty nets.
The Swallows were feeding high up tonight but the numbers were increasing by the minute as you could hear them as there were flying around above us. At the peak there must have been at least 1200-1300 Swallows over the reed bed. The question we were all wondering was 'Which bit of the reed bed would they drop into to roost'.
The question was soon answered when they suddenly drop into the far side of the reed bed and it all went very quiet. Then about a minute later they were all back up in the air. Something had spooked them and all eyes were on the sky looking to see if there was a raptor amongst them. Nothing was spotted and it wasn't long before they all dropped back into the reed bed for the night.
We went back to the nets for a final check, the first net was empty, the second had a single Swallow and the third net had two more Swallows and another Sedge Warbler.
So we ended the night with a total of 5 birds, two Sedge Warblers and three Swallows.
We will give it one more session during the week if there is a suitable weather opportunity but with the winds due to swing round to the North by Tuesday I think that will help the Swallows on their way and the next session will be the last session for this year.
Another sign that the season is coming to an end is that we were finished for th evening by around 8:15pm which is about two hours earlier than when we started!!
Totals caught this season so far:
Pied Wagtail 13
Reed Bunting 16
Sand Martin 8
Sedge Warbler 101
Thrush Nightingale 1
Willow Warbler 1