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Friday, 14 April 2017

Beddington Farmlands, 14th April 2017

Parking up in the suburbs of Mitcham Junction at 4.30am, Kojak and I embarked into the darkness to set up the nets for another ringing session on Hundred Acre. We stuck it out till early afternoon, accompanied by Paul M and Christian C, and did reasonably well in comparison to most mornings' netting there so far. The biggest horror treat came when four Rose-ringed Parakeets, which had been feeding on buds in the bushes in one of the sludge lagoons, ended up in a single net at once. Neither Koje nor I had ever processed a parakeet before but had heard the stories of blood and gore (inflicted upon ringers by the birds!). It was a real challenge keeping all of one's fingers out of reach of the parakeets' nimble and brutal bills but we managed to get them done and off safely, even if we may have some scars to show for the encounter.

I was hoping for better numbers of migrants in the nets but was happy to catch a singles of Whitethroat and Blackcap, the former being the first I've seen anywhere this year (there were two others singing). Overhead passage included two Yellow Wagtails, a year-tick for all of us, and three Sand Martins. A Green Sandpiper called in the pre-dawn gloam, as did a Snipe. A rather jammy line-up of Christian's scope led to us spotting a juvenile Iceland Gull loafing on one of the Viridor buildings. My schedule is pretty packed for the next few weeks but I hope to fit in as many ringing sessions at Beddington as I can over the spring.

Rose-ringed Parakeet - the blood is mine!
♂ Whitethroat
juvenile Iceland Gull