Sunday, 3 February 2013

Meeting, Lamping, Boxing

Thursday was the meeting of the UK Red Kite Co-ordination Group, this year hosted by the Welsh Kite Trust and held in Rhayader. Several of the delegates, namely Ian Carter (Natural England),  Adam McClure (RSPB Northern Ireland) and Marc Ruddock (Golden Eagle Trust) were keen to stay on after wards and try a bit of lamping. Following the recent snows the number of birds at our regular inland sites has been quite low so I decided to head for Ynyslas in the hope of meeting up with a few of the thousands of Woodcock, Golden Plover and Lapwing that had been pushed westwards. As it turns out there just weren't that many birds to be had at the coast either but we did manage to catch 3 Woodcock, a Snipe, a Fieldfare and a Redshank which seemed to be enough to demonstrate the technique.

The following day Ian and Marc headed home but Adam's ferry wasn't sailing until the evening so we spent the day checking owl boxes around Tregaron Bog. In all 9 Barn Owl boxes were checked and cleaned out. Worryingly only one Barn Owl was seen (and we missed catching it). Several of the boxes had recent pellets but no owls - hope they didn't all perish in the snow! One box held two roosting Tawny Owls of which we managed to catch the female who had been ringed originally in a neighbouring box this time last year.

Tawny Owls are always a bit of a treat for our Irish colleagues - they don't have any!

Also installed a few more Dipper boxes, including one under a low bridge where I misjudged the water level and managed to get a bit wet!

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