Last night was the first chance I've had for a while to get out lamping. Despite strong and bitterley cold winds and a bright moon reflected off snow I thought it might be worth a go at Ynyslas in an attempt to get a few more Golden Plovers colour-ringed before they head off to breeding areas further north. Numbers have been pitifully low at our inland sites since December so I thought the coast might be a better bet. As it turns out it was a bit too cold and bright at about 11pm so I decided to leave it until first thing, after the moon had set. At 4 am myself and Jane headed out into the frozen wastes at Ynyslas with much more hope than sense! Catching proved difficult in the very strong wind and the day dawned surprisingly early at just gone 5 but I did manage to net 1 Woodcock and 1 Golden Plover.
Last Woodcock of the season?
Having grabbed a quick breakfast we then headed off to meet Dave and Andre at our Hawfinch RAS feeding site in North Wales. This was the sixth trip of the spring and todate we had only managed to catch one bird! For the first few hours things looked set to remain the same but then, as we waited patiently, a few birds started to gather and finally drop onto the seed. Soon after we had 6 Hawfinches in bags (5 new birds and a retrap from 2011 & 2012). With two more caught a bit later on, the Hawfinch project 2013 was properly underway!
'Nip' really doesn't do it justice! These things can crack open cherry stones so the end of a finger proves no problem as I (above) and Andre (below) discovered to our cost!