Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Some Duck Ringing And Another Patch Scarcity

I will start this post with the patch scarcity bit. Late morning I had time for a quick scan over the sea from Spot On, 18 Common Scoters were loafing about, eight Teal flew in from the south and plonked down, two Great Crested Grebes were close in and a lovely Red-throated Diver was even closer in! Then the top prize drifted in to view, a stunning Black-throated Diver! One of the closest I've ever seen off here, but because I'm a plank my camera was not with me or in the car! It soon drifted out to usual diver-range, which is when Ian M and Karen rolled up to enjoy it too. My third of the year.

So, I will now rewind the day to early this morning....

I've not had many, if any, posts about bird ringing. There is a good reason for this, an obvious one too, I haven't done any! I am a member, well joint-founder really, of the Axe Estuary Ringing Group, and this morning a date was set with our duck traps on Seaton Marshes. Fraser Rush (reserve warden a fellow T-ringer) and the man himself, Mike Tyler (Group chairman and A-ringer) were also there and we met at 08:00. This is what our duck trap looks like....


And this is what we caught.....


In these bags (and a couple of others out of shot) were nine Shelduck! All nine though were already ringed as we have processed hundreds of these ducks over the past two winters here, it's interesting to see that they do come back though winter after winter.

As I will be handling and photographing stacks of Shelduck over the next few month I'll only post a couple of pics from today. Here's a couple of Shelduck wing-shots....

An adult male


And this a younger female - look at all the differences!


One last photo, our leader Mike who has obviously just fallen in love with this young lady....

Mr Mike Tyler

The only other bits of birding info I can inform people of today was of a Siskin west over my garden this morning, and on Seaton Marshes a really showy Cetti's Warbler in the north west corner of the reserve along with some Fieldfares and two Mistle Thrushes over west.

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