Thursday, 20 December 2012

Waxies winging it!

Waxwing number 100! 
(always worth checking that you have a scenic background when composing a photo!)

On Tuesday I paid another quick visit to Newtown College where I managed to catch 3 more Waxwings taking the total we've ringed in Mid Wales this year to exactly 100! As previously posted, most of these have also been colour-ringed and we are really beginning to reap the rewards of making the extra effort to get them colour-ringed. So far we have had 5 good movements of birds ringed at Newtown as shown in the map below.

Ringing location in Red resighting locations in Blue

It is very early days yet, with several months before the Waxwings are due to turn round and head back to whence they came, so hopefully the next map to be posted will be near obliterated with place markers!

The map below is what I have in mind and shows the results of the Grampian Ringing Group's colour-ringing of Waxwings during the last major influx. Many thanks to Raymond Duncan of GRG for the map and also for providing us with colour combinations and passing on emails of re-sightings.

Hello Shorty!

On a recent ringing trip I caught this short billed woodcock. Sorry about the poor standard of photography, it was scrambled onto my mobile with the light of my head torch.
Nobody knows why we get short bills, as far as we can tell these are not the result of injuries as they look normal, just short, this one measured 49.6mm (tip to feather). Despite being a 'shorty' this bird weighed in at a respectable 330gms. Nigel Jones of the New Forest Woodcock Group has also caught a shorty this winter.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Beunas dias Ceri!

Just visited the Argos website, no not shopping for Christmas presents but checking out the whereabouts of our satellite-tagged Golden Plover 'Ceri'. Just over a week ago I stumbled into her whilst lamping, in the same field that Paul and I caught her in. I was a little bit surprised therefore to be taken straight to a map of Madrid!! I wasn't expecting that but obviously in the recent cold spell Ceri rather than nipping down the coast to Ynyslas or Ynyshir as we may have predicted has headed off to sunny Spain instead turning up there on 11th December. By an amazing stroke of co-incidence I'm off to Madrid myself in a months time. If she's still there I won't be able to resist going to see if I can find her.

Bit of a Purple patch

Last night I had to go to Aberystwyth to drop off a vehicle so as my trip coincided with high tide I thought I'd have a quick go at catching Purple Sandpipers on the sea wall. This is something I've tried many, many times before with only one success and a near miss to show for it.  The street lights immediately above the wall make lamping ineffective as the birds usually see you as you lean over and jump straight off. Nothing ventured nothing gained though. Don't know if this one was blind or asleep but it didn't jump quick enough! This is only the 3rd Purple Sandpiper we've ever ringed.

As Purple Sandpipers hop around on barnacle covered rocks all day they wear their rings away quite quickly so ringers are now required to put the ring on the tibia (above the knee) where they can't be seen so don't worry, we won't be spoiling anyones photographs!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Where next?

On Saturday 9th December Phil Owen photographed a Waxwing in Newtown College with colour-rings Blue/Black on the left leg. He showed me the photo thinking it was one we had ringed. 

Sometime later I realised that we had been colour-ringing on the right leg!! Surely we hadn't made a mistake? Luckily this bird was one of 18 that Damian and I caught later that same day so thankfully we could confirm it wasn't one of ours.

I have just received the following by email from Raymond Duncan of the Grampian Ringing Group.

"Well actually no, NW62620 isn’t one of ours, it was ringed on Fair Isle as a 3 male on 4/11/12 but then we retrapped it in Aberdeen on 15/11/12 (when 3 summer Fair Isle ringers were present!) and added blue over black colours on left leg. You haven’t gone and caught it have you?!"

We also heard from him that one of the Newtown ringed birds has turned up in Chepstow already. Great to be getting some returns for all our efforts. Please keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready for any other colour-ringed Waxwings.

Dab hands

A very mixed and enjoyable bit of ringing with Damian Clarke and Adrienne Stratford over the past 24 hours! The evening started with three Shags (all caught at roost!).


This was followed by a successful foray into a North Wales quarry in order to colour-ring one of a previously un-ringed breeding pair of Choughs.

Another one to look for

We then headed on to Anglesey in search of Little Grebes and managed a very respectable catch of 6  (5 new and one retrap from Jan 2012).

The crack Little Grebe squad 

Look, no hands!!

 A very smart adult

Then, earlier today, we headed out to Nefyn in search of more Choughs but only managed to locate a small group of 5 which were far too mobile to attempt catching,(although 3 of them were identified by their colour-rings). Whilst searching we came a cross a Buzzard on the beach eating a large fish-head. A couple of minutes later Damian's giant spring trap was set and baited with what remained of the fish-head and after a short wait the Buzzard returned to finish its meal. It didn't!

Damian's mega spring-trap scores a first hit!

Monday, 10 December 2012

What a Whooper!

Got Irish ringer, Damian Clarke, staying with me for a few days. We've been trying to do a bit of lamping and Waxwing netting but success has been pretty limited. Numbers of Woodcock (at least where we've been looking) have been lower than normal at this time of the year. Have managed a few though and that has hopefully spurred him on to try for a few back in Ireland. Waxwings too were not playing ball, until last night anyway, when we had a late catch of 16 just before they headed off to roost. By far the best bird of the visit so far though was a result with a half-hearted attempt to catch one of six Whooper Swans on a small lake near Ponterwyd. I even had a Darvic ring handy so that will hopefully increase the chances of some feedback.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A luring Waxwings!

On Tuesday the Waxwings at Newtown were having none of it. Spent all day waiting for them to turn up and feast on the ornamental rowan berries that had been hung alluringly in a convenient catching spot, nothing! A quick look at the Montgomery Bird Blog last night however showed that the following day (when I couldn't make it) they promptly polished off the lot!!

This morning the weather wasn't forecast as good but it was showing a small window of opportunity early on so I arrived pre dawn and reloaded the bushes with more berries obtained from a handy tree on the way! The first Waxwing was caught just as it was still getting light and over the next few hours another 13 were caught including 1 retrap. So far this winter we have ringed 75 of which 60 have also been individually colour-ringed. In one way I can't wait for them to move on but kind of hoping they might just hang around and fall for the same trick on Saturday morning - although I need to find another source of berries. Anyone seen 4 Swedes in a blue estate car?

A cautionary tale - whilst posting this on here I looked at the combination and thought I'd dropped a clanger. I'd ringed Red/Blue earlier in the week? This is actually Orange/Blue and a fairly orangey orange at that! Who said the camera can't lie?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Redwing roost.

This evening myself, dad and Tony headed down to a recent Redwing roost that I'd found, to see how catchable they were! As it was our first visit there it was going to be a bit hit and miss as to whether we'd catch anthing at all, but we set the nets up and waited! As it turned out the nets were in a perfect place, but by the time the Redwings started to arrive, the nets were already alive with several Starlings! When we had finally extracted them all, the majority of the Redwings had already passed over the nets (the delightful screaming Starlings didn't do us any favours there!!). But as there were several thousand birds using this roost we still managed a reasonable catch. We finished the night with a total of 30 Redwings, 25 Starling and 2 Goldcrests. Not bad for our first attempt, and several more birds to have a go at!

Viking Invaders, welcome and not so welcome!

The weekend saw increased activity and numbers of Waxwings in and around Newtown College. On Saturday Jane, Dave and I, briefly joined by Andre, caught and colour-ringed a further 25 out of the 200 or so present. Never seen anything like it - at one point several small puddles in the car park were literally heaving with Waxwings drinking and bathing. Luckily they were coming down to berries in several parts of the grounds so we were able to net some parts whilst the gathering of local bird photographers got ample photo opportunities nearby.

In a slightly surreal episode, at one point four other Swedish visitors arrived, covered a large part of the car park in sacking and proceeded to thrash hell out of the hedges with long sticks collecting the very hawthorn berries the Waxwings were feasting on. A slightly heated exchange saw them moving on to collect their berries elsewhere!

Sunday morning started brilliantly with Paul, Jane and I catching and colour-ringing another 16 new birds and 1 retrap before 10 am but then two unwelcome appearances by a sparrowhawk wazzed them all off and they only returned shortly after we gave up at 2pm. Sod's Law. Ah well mustn't be greedy. Hopefully they might hang around a bit longer as the next couple of days are forecast as not too good!

Two of Saturdays colour-ringed Waxwings. Have great expectations for future sightings and some interesting onward journeys once the berries have gone. Many thanks to Phil Owen for the photos.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

No wingeing at Waxwinging

Today I managed a late trip to Machynlleth in order to check out the Waxwing flock near the library as Jane had obtained permission to ring there the day before. Unfortunately, Wednesday is market day and even the Waxwings weren't going to feed amid the Indian take-aways and burger vans positioned just outside the library. Fortunately the flock was easily relocated in the same small clump of ornamental sorbus trees they or their precedents frequented two winters ago just up the road! The location wasn't ideal for catching and as soon as Jane managed to join me we had to resort to a bit of full-public scrutiny flick-netting but hey, if needs must! Three birds were caught out of the 62 odd present but unfortunately it didn't include the ringed (not sure its a BTO ring either!) bird that Emyr Evans managed to photograph the day before. Thanks to a quick response from Raymond Duncan the Waxwing colour-ring co-ordinator and a quick dispatch of colour-rings by A. C. Hughes we were able to colour-ring these three birds thereby greatly increasing the chances of them being resighted elsewhere. Many thanks to Steffi Meier too who was already on the scene taking photos and kindly helped out and allowed some to be used here.

Blimey, TC tries to remember how to ring a bird!! The net is just visible behind the Give Way sign. Shame a few more of the Waxwings didn't!

Two of our first 3 colour-ringed Waxwings.  Hopefully we can soon report details of their onward travels

Last Sunday me, Dave Smith, Jane, Brendan Sheils and Brendan's friend Hannah (briefly joined by Paul and Marc Hughes on a mornings birding) managed to entertail the good folk of Mill Close, Newtown with our odd Waxwinging antics. Even managed to attract the attention of the Old Bill too. Good times were had by all and 11 Waxwings were BTO ringed. See Marc Hughes' post on the We Bird North Wales blog for more photos  One of them even got its picture taken - in watercolour! See Chris Wallbank"s blog for some stunning artwork and hopefully the Waxwings will feature soon!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Sat Nav on the A44

Thursday night Paul and I headed out to the hills between Ceri and Clun in the hope of fitting the first of two satellite tags we have for our Golden Plover research (tags funded by EcologyMatters and the Welsh Assembly Government's Ecosystem Resilience and Diversity Fund and supplied by Microwave Telemetry Inc.).  Despite there being quite a moon up at the moment the clouds were thick and rain was forecast so conditions seemed good. As a matter of good practise I had set myself the limit of not attaching the tag (which weighs just 5 grams) to any bird that weighed less than 220g. 5g might seem a lot on a bird that size but they frequently put on and lose weight dependent on how cold it is and where they are headed. We know that birds can vary between 190 up to over 250g so, relatively, it is little extra to carry. As luck would have it the only Golden Plover we caught weighed in at 250g. BINGO!

Fitted with colour-ring A44 and its new sat tag this bird is set to make history as I'm pretty sure it's the first Golden Plover in Britain to be satellite tagged.

Golden Plover "Ceri" with satellite tag fitted. They feed at night on worms and wet nights are particularly good as all the worms are on the surface so they are loaded and ready to fire, frequently, as can be seen !

Hoping to fit the next one sometime soon. I will post updates here and on the EcologyMatters website.

Six Woodcock, 5 Fieldfare and a Jack Snipe helped to make it a very memorable night.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Two more anyway!

1st year male Waxwing 

Popped over to Newtown first thing to try for a few more Waxwings. I went to where we caught them 2 winters ago and sure enough at least 40 birds were dropping onto several ornamental rowan trees in the council estate. Siting a mist-net was a bit tricky but many thanks to the young couple and the little old lady who let me string it over the fence between their front gardens! Managed to catch two (which they were all thrilled to see close-up) but a marauding Mistle Thrush was making life difficult so the flock moved off to Coleg Hafren. Still far too many feeding opportunities there for successful netting - hopefully try again soon when the berries have thinned out a bit!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Roadside encounter with Scandinavian beauty

Almost as exciting as it sounds! On Sunday Paul (recently back from Bolivia - well most of him anyway!) and I bumped into 25ish Waxwings at Llanelwedd on the way back from a site visit in South Wales. Failing light and no mist-net poles meant we weren't able to do full justice to the golden opportunity presented but we did manage to catch this little stunner before they went off to roost. Unfortunately they failed to show the following morning when we did have poles!! There's a lesson in there somewhere!

Lots more to follow I hope.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Colour-ringed Little Egret in Northern Ireland

Had a phone call from Adam McClure, the RSPB's Northern Ireland Red Kite Project Officer, on Monday to say he had just been talking to Cameron Moore, a local birder, who had seen and photographed a colour-ringed Little Egret at Larne Lough, Co. Antrim back on 3rd and 10th August. Sure enough turned out to be one of ours from Bangor, the second smallest of a brood of four ringed on 25th June 2012. Ironic really as Adam had been over ringing with me for a week in June and had tagged along with Adrienne Stratford and I when we went to ring them but had to shoot off and catch a ferry before we managed to find a nest with chicks the right age for ringing!

See more on Adam's blog

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A 'Busy' journey.

We are now getting some interesting date from the satellite tagged woodcock. Despite reports of good numbers of woodcock appearing at bird obs up and down the east coast, our tagged birds have only just started moving back west.
The first 'Busy', one of the 4 Cornish tagged birds, has made it back to blighty after an interesting journey down the English Channel. I have managed to get a wind map for 28th Oct and it's intersting to see that most of this journey, which took Busy across land twice without him stopping for a rest, was done with a steady headwind. Maybe this explains the sudden U turn mid Channel and the run with a quartering wind to the Isle of Wight.

There are clear issues with some woodcock going "off the map" once on their breeding grounds, this is probably due to poor light conditions preventing battery charging where there is heavy vegetation. It seems that this has been less of a problem for the Scandanavian birds than those in more southerly locations. Once the birds start migrating the batteries come back to life and we get data, this appears to show that woodcock are migrating through daylight hours, and not at night, which was previously thought. There is no doubt that our woodcock satellite tags and geolocators will reaveal a lot more about the migration of these secretive birds over the next few years.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Just too bright!

Last night the forecast was for rain throughout the night and for once this could have been a good thing! The week or so around full moon is usually hopeless for lamping and gives a welcome break to re-charge the batteries. Given the cloud and rain though I reckoned it was worth giving it a try so Vince, Jane and I headed up to the Ceri Ridgeway in search of more Golden Plovers.

A total of about 60 Golden Plovers and 4 Woodcock were seen but, Sod's Law, even in 2012 when you actually want rain your can't get any! Without the rain it was just too bright and all we managed to catch was a couple more Golden Plovers,  a Woodcock, a Redwing and 2 Fieldfares. Surprisingly perhaps Fieldfares (and Redwings less frequently) are often encountered and caught whilst roosting on the ground (over 50 ringed last winter). These were the first this autumn though and are quite a bit later than the first ones last year.

Winter fare! An adult male at the top and a 1st winter female below
 (pale tipped greater coverts just visible in the photo)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Ceredigion Cuckoo update

Indy getting his biometrics checked

In May this year Kelvin Jones and I assisted BTO scientist Chris Hewson and Phil Atkinson in catching and satellite-tagging four male Cuckoos from on and around Tregaron Bog and a female Cuckoo from Brechfa Forest near Llanybydder. The BTO's Cuckoo tracking website gives updates on all 5 Welsh birds and the news isn't too good. The female, Idemili, was found injured in Sussex on the first stage of her journey and was subsequently cared for and flown to Italy to be released (without her satellite tag) by Wildlife Aid Foundation - hopefully she survived and completed the remaining leg of her journey. Two of the male cuckoos, Iolo and Indy (sponsored by The Independent) have succumbed on their travels having both made it to Africa, Iolo in Libya and Indy in Cameroon.  This leaves David and Lloyd, currently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic respectively, to face the perils of their northward journey this spring, hopefully to return safely and harass another generation of Meadow Pipits in the hills and valleys around Tregaron. We wish them all the best.

The rarely photographed act of comparing cuckoos!! Three Cuckoos in one net! Is this a first?

Mike McCarthy of the Independent has written an article on Indy's epic journey which is well worth a read

It is quite likely that the record-breaking wet summer here and the drought conditions in the Mediterranean conspired to make this autumns migration back to Africa even more hazardous than normal. This seasons 50% survival certainly compares badly with the 2011 migrations when all 5 satellite-tagged Cuckoos made it safely to Central Africa. Could refuelling prior to and during migration be the reason for the population declines observed in recent years? It is interesting that all of the Welsh and Scottish Cuckoos that migrated on an a Easterly route made it to Africa whilst three of the English Cuckoos that took the westerly route through Spain all died. Chris, the sole surviving English Cuckoo, also took the easterly route through Italy. Is this the reason for the differing fortunes of English and Scottish Cuckoos?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Where have you been?

Just had an email from local bird photographer Kev Joynes with these two cracking photographs of Choughs taken near Llanrhystud recently.

The two birds are brother (C7) and sister (C4) from a brood of 4 ringed near Cwmtydu on 17th May 2011. Both have only one previous record each. C4 was photographed by Janet Baxter at Pantyralled on 1st April 2012 and the other was seen by Dave Lamacraft at Ynys Lochtyn on 27th May 2012. Most records of Chough flocks are followed up very quickly to check for ringed birds and most known nests and roost sites are monitored regularly so where have these two been hanging out the rest of the time I wonder? They should enter the breeding population this coming spring so we look forward to seeing where they will settle.

Many thanks to Kev for reporting and allowing me to reproduce them here and sincere apologies, I know you'd much rather they weren't ringed! They might have been better photos but they wouldn't have been half as interesting!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Going grey

A couple of nights ago, during a ringing trip to Ynyslas, I quite literally stumbled into a (not very big) flooded stubble field with over 500 Teal and 100 Snipe in it! I have never seen Teal or Snipe in that number and density before. Unfortunately the ground was so sodden that it was near impossible to sneak up on anything to lamp it and despite my best efforts 1 immature male Teal was all I managed to catch. Given the conditions, lamping probably wasn't the best option.  Last night, having cleared it with the landowner and with some perfect calm conditions to hand, Jane, Brendan and I tried plan B and strung a few mist-nets across the field in hope of much greater things. Having put up 400ft of net we sat back to wait for the big, 500 Teal, 100 Snipe flight-in at dusk, bird bags a plenty at the ready! An early narrow miss of a Short-eared Owl got the heart pumping and built expectation even higher but the flight-in, when it eventually happened, just wasn't that great. I guess the super high tide a few nights earlier and the extremely wet conditions at the time had pushed birds off the estuary and made the field the place to be. In the few days since things had obviously changed! The catch, 1 Teal, 1 Snipe and 2 Jack Snipe certainly wasn't unwelcome but it wasn't up to expectation either!

Female Teal (don't handle enough to be sure what age!).

A good year for Jack Snipe? This is the 6th of the autumn

A consolation lamping session afterwards on nearby fields and on the beach added 3 more Snipe, 1 more Jack Snipe and, by way of a colour-change from recent successes, this stunning immature Grey Plover.

Who says Grey is drab! An absolute stunner!

The pits!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

They're back!

Had a quick spin out for more Goldies last night and came across this.

First winter Woodcock and a first-winter at that!

The main influx will start any time soon so keep up to date with progress on a national level by visiting

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Choughs mixing it up

Heard from an excited Adrienne Stratford last night that on a routine roost monitoring visit she had had a count of at least 40 Choughs at one of the mid-Wales roosts and she'd managed to identify 30 of them from their colour rings!  The survival rate of this year's chicks hasn't been brilliant overall in Wales so it was particularly good news that, of the ringed birds, there were at least 12 of this year's cohort along with 5 from 2011, 2 from 2010, 2 from 2009, 2 from 2007, 2 from 2006, 2 from 2005, 1 from 2004, 1 from 2002 and the oldest of the bunch was a male ringed in 1998. The young birds included a brood of three all still together 51 kms from where they were reared and another 3 from a brood of 4 that were 26 kms from their nest site, which as it turns out, is the mean distance travelled from natal site of this whole bunch. Eleven of them were ringed in Ceredigion and one in Meirionydd.

At least one of these was still alive and kicking as of yesterday, well two actually, including me!

Pleasingly, no fewer than 15 of the 30 birds had been reared in our specially designed nest-boxes.
Most amazing of all though, was the fact that, although 6 birds had originated from a single site near Aberystwyth (from 5 different years) the 24 other colour-ringed birds had originated from 17 different nest sites, some inland, some coastal - a great big Chough melting pot! That's what we need!

Friday, 12 October 2012

From here to there and back again!

But where exactly?

Another night out in the South Shropshire hills last night, this time with Jane and new Aberystwyth University student (and trainee) Brendan Sheils. Also along for the ride was my brand new Cluson 18.4 amp Li-ion battery pack (a snip at just under £200!!). Seriously though, with its light weight and extended duration its a serious consideration for all hard-core lamping addicts and much cheaper than a physiotherapist! Weather was a bit wild - warm, wet and breezy at the start (which is ideal for catching) then cold, dry and windy (which isn't!). We caught 21 birds in total - 15 Golden Plover, 2 Snipe, 1 Jack Snipe, 2 Meadow Pipits and a Skylark.

Getting Less Common Snipe

Not Common Enough Snipe (aka Jack),  first of the winter.  Could never catch too many of these!

Interestingly one of the Golden Plovers was a returning bird from last winter.

Originally ringed as an adult at the same location on 18th February 2012

Would be brilliant to know where it has been in the meantime? Since last winter we have had just two of 150 colour-ringed birds reported, one breeding on a North Wales moor and the other on passage in the Netherlands. Unfortunately in neither case was the code on the ring read so we don't know which birds exactly were involved (one of them might have been this one!). In conjunction with Ecology Matters and with the aid of a Grant from Countryside Council for Wales we are hoping, very shortly, to satellite track two Golden Plovers from Mid-Wales to chart their  winter wanderings and map their return to unknown nesting locations further north - watch this space!

Records of feeding flocks in Shropshire and mid-Wales and reports of colour-ringed birds anywhere would be much appreciated.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Dipper Roost round-up

Last night Vince and I checked the last 18 Dipper roosts in our Shropshire/Mid Wales Dipper RAS study area and caught/identified another 24 birds including 8 more new ones.  Since mid September we have checked over 150 past or present roost sites and caught/identified a total of 152 Dippers comprising 61 new birds and 91 retraps/controls (plus we missed about 25!). The age/sex breakdown of the 152 was 93 adult (49 males, 44 females) and 59 first winter (33 males, 26 females).

 A brown-bellied Dipper if ever I saw one!

During the summer we ringed a total of 330 pulli and just 17 (9 males, 8 females) of these were re-trapped. This is a bit lower than would be expected and almost certainly results from the exceptional summer floods that occurred just after many of the birds had fledged. Adult survival seems to have been fairly good though and of 166 adult/juvs colour-ringed at these same sites between April 2011 and May 2012 a minimum of 60 were still present and 54 were retrapped. There are bound to be a fair few others too using unknown natural roosts or that have moved out of the area checked. Apart from revisiting a few of the sites where we've missed birds the next time most of them will be checked is when they start nesting in February. With such a high number now colour-ringed it will be very interesting to see who turns up to breed and where!

The longest movement of a 2012 pulli so far is 32km.

Just how many ringers does it take to ring a Dipper anyway? One to hold the bird, one to apply the colour-rings, one to take the photos and one to take the p***! 

Next year's Dipper monitoring is being sponsored by Petzl and BirdWatch Ireland 
(oh yes and Spec-Savers!!)

Many thanks to Vince, Lloyd, Jane, Andre, Dave Smith, Gareth Richardson, Brendan Sheils, Simon Holloway, Sarah Cookson, Amy and Hannah for your assistance and company on some late and very wet nights.

Caught 7 more Golden Plovers on the way home too!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A return to the Golden era!

With several reports recently of flocks of Golden Plovers back in the hills I made my first visit of the season to see what I could find. Last winter Paul and I caught over 300 Golden Plovers between us and colour-ringed over 150 of them. It will be very interesting to see what sort of return rate we get on these birds. The Countryside Council for Wales has supplied a grant to search for colour-ringed birds during the day and to map habitat usage by flocks.

Last night I managed to find a small flock of about 20 birds and caught and colour-ringed the first three Golden Plovers of the winter, 2 juveniles and an adult.

 Adult Golden Plover, this bird was still moulting its outermost primary feathers

Also caught a Snipe and another 5 new and 1 retrap Dippers. Should be finishing the bridge checking tonight,  hopefully!