I arrived at the site in Cardiff Bay at 5.30am and met up with the rest of the ringers. They have a lovely site with reedbeds, ponds and scrub. It doesn't feel like you are in the middle of a city when your at the site.
I ringed until 8am when I had to leave to go into work - covered in mud of course! I processed 16 birds, the site get's good numbers of retraps. Species for the day included Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler and Willow Warbler.
|Sedge Warbler. I adore the plumage on these guys.|
|Willow Warbler - "You looking at me?"|
I also got a very nice little surprise; as I was on a net round extracting mainly Reed Warblers I came across an unfamiliar bird. I stood there with the bird in my hand staring at with a confused expression on my face thinking to myself "well it's not a Reed Warbler!". Then it dawned on me; could it be a Garden Warbler? It was a Garden Warbler - my first! What a pretty little bird and one that I hadn't seen before. I ended up ringing 2 new Garden Warblers by the end of the morning - what a delight! I certainly wasn't expecting a new species that morning.
|My first Garden Warbler|
|What a beaut!|
|Juvenile Garden Warbler|
As if ringing a Garden Warbler wasn't a treat enough I then got my breakfast cooked for me again! I think these Cardiff Ringers are onto something with this cooked breakfast thing - I've brought along bananas and short bread to ringing sessions before but I must say it was very nice to have a hot breakfast. Big thanks to Chef Rich!
A strange experience for the morning was checking Reed Warbler's bums for poo! Yes poo, one of the Cardiff Ringers is a PhD student and is collecting Reed Warbler poo for their project. Every time some poo is found it gets placed into a little pot with the owner of the poo's ring number written on it. Another new experience for me then!
|How to correctly label poo!|
|Poo in a pot!|
It was great to be out ringing before work and a very successful, enjoyable morning was had. After I dragged myself covered in mud into work I went and checked on the Swallow nests with Tony Jenkins. 2 of the nests will be ready for ringing next week - which will probably be my last ringing experience at WWT Llanelli...sniff,sniff! Big thanks goes to the Cardiff Ringers (some of whom later turned up at my work, stalkers!) and I hope to see you again in the future, happy ringing!