Yesterday Jane and I were joined by Shropshire ringer Paul Ashworth for another day of swan-upping in and around the canals, lakes and pools of Shropshire and Mid-Wales.
The day started slowly as the last three pairs on the Welsh stretch of the Montgomery Canal were all cygnet-less. A regular pair on the English side did better with 3 large cygnets but things didn't go quite to plan when the end of the swan hook came off in the middle of the canal on attempting to catch the first one! As it was perhaps the most important bit of kit we had, and we weren't going to catch many others without it, someone had to go in and fetch it! In my day that's exactly what trainees were for but things have obviously moved on!!
Swan family waiting patiently whilst the implement needed to catch them is
retrieved from the bottom of the canal!
The day continued at a fairly slow but steady rate, with a couple of coots and a Canada Goose thrown in for variety, but ended in a flurry when we caught all 13 cygnets in two broods on the Newport Canal just outside Telford.
Martin Grant assists as we indulge in a bit of nocturnal swan ringing on the Newport Canal!
It's alright it wasn't quite as dark as it appears!
All-in-all not a bad day with 21 cygnets and 2 adults ringed plus 18 adults identified from their colour rings. Finished just in time to catch the local chippy for some much needed refuelling.