Tuesday 23 June 2015

Sand Martin Colony 22/06/2015

This morning I made use of some fine conditions to make the first visit of the year to the main Sand Martin colony near Macfin.  It was actually a bit windy but the lay of land helps protect the nets from the wind blowing off the river.

The catching started quick with 10 birds in the nets whilst setting up.  Once I processed the birds I went back for the next round and had 41 birds.  Because I was by myself and I had a lot of birds to process, I closed one of the nets and went for ring, age, sex and fling method.  Once I had finished processing the last lot I went to close up, catching a further 31 birds.

In total I managed 79 new birds and only three retraps.  The low retrap rate surprised me, as, with 144 new birds ringed last year, I was expecting a much higher return.  Hopefully over the next two visits, we can pick up more of these birds from last year.  7 of the birds were juveniles from this year, 42 males, 32 Females and 1 unsexed.   

Adult Sand Martin
Juvenile Sand Martin
Juvenile plumage

I'm off the Greece for a bit of island hopping for a couple of weeks, so the blog will be quiet.  The next Sand Martin Visit is planned for mid July (perhaps 10-12th weekend), so get in touch if you want to come along.  We will probably go for a late visit and then go for a Storm Petrel session after.

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