Thursday, 30 August 2012

More than a Hobby

Dashed home from work and went down to Scotman’s Flash, Wigan to try for roosting Swallows. I only got there at 19:15 which only gave me time to put up one 60ft net. There were still plenty of recently fledged juvenile Reed Warblers calling for food but otherwise seemed fairly quiet until a flock of Long-tailed Tits flew past with a few Chiffchaffs in tow.

When the first Swallow finally arrived it flew straight into the net and, to my surprise, was quickly followed by a Hobby. This Hobby could have been the bird that I ringed on the 19th but unfortunately it jumped out of the net so I will never know. I subsequently saw it fly low across the reed bed then rise up to take a Swallow in flight. Seconds later what must have been a second Hobby appeared over the reed bed as this bird appeared before the first would have had time to devour its prey. Hobbies are still fairly scarce in this area so seeing two is quite unusual but almost catching one again is exceptional.

Less than 20 Swallows gathered with most arriving just after sunset but I still managed to catch 11 including a juvenile (Y462733) that had been ringed elsewhere. The evening’s ringing total also included 3 Reed Warblers and a Sedge Warbler.

The weather is looking favourable again tomorrow so I will try and finish work early and get down to Scotman’s again.
Swallows caught in a mist net for ringing.

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