My nights during the last two weeks have been devoted to our annual round of Dipper roost ringing. Each of over 250 bridges is visited to count the number of birds present and also to catch as many as possible. So far we are about half-way through with 170 birds caught out of exactly 200 found. About 1/3rd have been new birds with the rest retraps and including a good number ringed earlier this year as pulli. I will post a more complete analysis when the visits are complete. A few night back though, Jacques, Beth and I had a much bigger catch than expected!
Best to lean well back out of reach of that beak!
This young Grey Heron made the mistake of roosting within landing-net reach in an alder tree by one of the bridges. This is the first Grey Heron we have ever lamped although Paul and I caught one in a mist-net whilst Dippering a year or two back.
Stalking off, slightly crest-fallen but non the worse for its brief encounter
A few nights later I had my highest ever single bridge count of 12 Dippers (I've previously had 11 birds under the same bridge on a couple of occasions) - what's more I caught 11 of them and managed to read the colour-ring on the other.