Yesterday after a failed early morning attempt to catch Ring Ouzels (more later) I headed off to Newtown to meet Jane for all-day swan-catching. Every September for the last 20 or so years I've walked the Montgomery Canal from Newtown to Ellesmere trying to catch and colour-ring all the breeding adults and cygnets present. Many of the breeding birds are old friends and one of the downsides of the job is finding that one of them has died and been replaced.
We managed to cover the section from Newtown to Belan Locks, found six pairs, ringed 19 cygnets and 2 adults and read the ring numbers of the other 10 adults. Broods were 1 x 1, 1 x 2, 2 x 3, 1 x 4 and 7 out of a brood of 11 (unfortunately the other 4 had flown off the previous day!). Amazingly I managed to stay completely dry right up until the last bird when circumstances dictated that I get in the canal after it! Will be doing the rest of the canal next week if anyone fancies coming for a swim?
I originally ringed TZ7 as a cygnet in Telford in Sept 1993. She has nested on the Montgomery Canal near Newtown every year since 1997 and reared over 50 cygnets.
Not satisfied with the day's activities we later met up with Vince and went Dippering on the Onny until 4.30 am! Another 27 dippers caught and colour-ringed though.