Thursday, 6 September 2012

Montgomery Canal Swans - Get in!!

You're gonna need a bigger car! Tern catching requires lots of non-standard ringing kit.

On Tuesday night Jane, Andre Marsh  Kelvin Jones and I had another attempt at tern catching and, despite being overly cautious and falling just short of the high tide line, managed to catch 17 birds including 2 Sandwich Terns, 10 Dunlin, 4 Redshank and a Knot). Then yesterday, after far too little sleep, Jane, Kelvin and I headed over to the Montgomery Canal for the start of the annual swan-upping. Every year for quite some, I've tried to catch and colour-ring all the cygnets produced on the canal between Newtown and Oswestry. Yesterday we managed to cover the section from Newtown to Arddleen, locating 6 broods and three pairs without young. One other pair known to have cygnets couldn't be found (they'd probably moved them onto the river).

Kelvin lying down on the job again!

 A sharp whack in the kidneys reminds you that it's always worth keeping an eye on what's behind you!

Of the 33 cygnets found we managed to catch and colour-ring 32 of them (one was too small). Having stayed nice and dry for most of the day (well apart from Jane who at one point thought she was Tom Daley) the last brood, 7 cygnets all capable of flying, necessitated extreme measures in order to maintain our 100% record and so it all finished very wet and duckweedy! No action photos available I'm afraid - I will try harder next week when we go back for the remaining broods, hopefully I can convince Tom to do a slow motion replay!

Peace and tranquility restored 

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