Last night Paul and I headed over to Llanerfyl to meet up with North Wales ringers Rob Sandham and Rob Hughes. Both Robs have restricted C permits and are keen to gain experience in lamping so that the can add this technique to their licenses.
Paul and Rob H took one half of the site and myself and Rob S took the other. Typically, after night after night of wet, windy weather with lots of birds the evening started very still and quiet and it was pretty difficult getting near enough to any of the few birds we saw. With perseverance both Robs equipped themselves well and managed to catch their first lamped birds. Under these conditions the most important lesson to learn, namely the importance of stealth, was clearly demonstrated. In all we had a combined catch of 4 Woodcock (including a retrap), 1 Jack Snipe and a Meadow Pipit.
After the Robs had headed home Paul and I tried a few more fields on the way back and managed to ring another 4 Woodcock, 2 Golden Plovers singles of Snipe, Fieldfare and Skylark and no less than 5 more Jack Snipe!! What an amazing winter for this species with 38 birds ringed already and still at least a month and a half left before they migrate back to Scandinavia (and elsewhere) to breed.
Rob Sandham with a Woodcock and Jack Snipe. Training is a vital part of ensuring that all our ringing activities are as safe for the birds as possible. It is also about ensuring that the techniques and skills required to do this are passed on so that future conservationist, researchers and committed individuals can then add to our growing volume of knowledge.