15 September 2013

Ups and Downs on the reedbed

On Friday evening (13 Sep) I was unable to join the usual team down on the reed bed due to other commitments. It turned out to be the busiest night of the season and probably the last big session of the season.

With bad weather forecast again for this weekend it was expected that there would be another big movement of birds heading off on their migration. Things got off to a slow start with just two Sedge Warblers being caught and ringed. The next net round produced 20 Swallows and a Wren. As these birds were being ringed and measured the Swallow numbers above the reed bed quickly increased until there were at least 1200+.

Subsequent net rounds resulted in another 126 Swallows being ringed.

A total of 149 birds for that session consisted of: 146 Swallows, 2 Segde Warblers and 1 Wren.

Last night (Sat 14 Sep) presented another weather window before the arrival of the storms overnight. I joined the team wondering if there would be another repeat of the previous night.

With the nets ready it was eyes to the skies and it wasn't long before Swalows started appearing over the reed bed.

The first net round produced two Sedge Warblers and a Wren. The next net round produced 17 Swallows.

There were good numbers, probably in the high hundreds, of Swallows flying over the reed bed when suddenly it all went quiet. The usual sign that the Swallows have dropped down into the reed bed to roost for the night.

Time for the final net check of the evening but unlike the previous night there were only eight Swallows and a Reed Bunting.

The total for the evening was 29 birds consisting of: 25 Swallows, 2 Sedge Warblers, 1 Reed Bunting and 1 Wren.

Totals caught this season so far:

  Blackbird                   2
  Linnet                      1
  Pied Wagtail               13
  Reed Bunting               16
  Sand Martin                 8
  Sedge Warbler              99
  Starling                   22
  Swallow                   747
  Thrush Nightingale          1
  Willow Warbler              1
  Wren                        3
  Total                     913

The current forecast doesn't look like there will be a drop in the wind until late next week so it will be interesting to see how many Swallows are still around.

Will there be one more Sedge Warbler lurking in the reed bed?

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