Last night, following a Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) meeting in the nearby Elan Valley Hotel, BTO Staff Kelvin Jones, Kate Risely and James Bray joined me for a few hours lamping. Kate had never seen Dipper in the hand before so we visited a couple of roost sites and caught 5, 2 of which were new. Following success with the Dippers we headed off to Bwlch-y-Sarnau hoping to catch a few Woodcock at one of my regular sites. A small amount of snow had fallen on the higher ground during the day and this had frozen making it very crunchy underfoot. Not ideal conditions but the cold wind helped and we managed to catch 4 out of the 8 Woodcock seen (all unringed). The real highlight of the night though was an unexpected and very close encounter with this absolutely stunning Long-eared Owl which conveniently sat on a tussock just long enough for me to stalk up and drop a net on it.
The 3rd new species of the night for Kate, and not a bad introduction to ringing for James!