Sunday, 14 August 2011

This isn't just a Hobby

Just back from a very wet 10 day camper-van holiday in Scotland with Caroline and the kids. Whilst we were away I was notified that Michelle Frater had located a new Hobby nest with large young aaargghhhh!!!! That very nearly brought the holiday to a premature end!  Almost as soon as we got back I was heading off just over the border into Shropshire to meet Michelle and Leo Smith to see if it was still possible to ring them.  The three chicks were quite large but extremely well-behaved!

Following this success myself and Leo joined up with his girlfriend Josie to try and locate another nest at a site where he had recently heard adults alarm calling. Sure enough we soon managed to located the nest in a streamside alder tree. Finding the landowner was equally simple and it turned out he had already given us permission at another nest nearby! It was great to see that he was genuinely pleased to have Hobbys nesting on his farm and as amazed as we were when it turned out to be two pairs with a total of five young between them!

Following the successes of last year, with one young Hobby recovered on its southwards migration in the French Pyrennes and another identified by its colour-rings recently at Minsmere, both myself and Paul made big efforts to increase the number of Hobby nests that we ring at. So far this year the total is an amazing 21 chicks and 4 adults including the female shown below with the unusual head arrangement!

ah,  that's better, only temporary thankfully!

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