Today was all about our RAS projects we are working on (Retrapping Adults for Survival)
We were very disappointed that we couldn't get out last week, as the weather was so bad which was so frustrating, as we'd had good hopes to steadily increase our numbers on the Blackcaps.
Our first RAS today was based on the Blackcaps. When we arrived several were singing and calling but working out territories is proving tricky and they did not respond very well today. It was interesting to catch a male which was caught a week or so ago and what appears perhaps to be an unpaired male.
Now after the poor start of Blackcaps we went onto our second RAS of the day; this time for Swallows. We managed to catch 55 birds of which we ringer 48. Some of the retraps were birds we had ringed the year before and some were controls (i.e from other sites). How amazing that these birds have have come back from South Africa to be with us for the summer!
One of the barns we went to contained an occupied owl box and a Kestrel nest. We firstly checked the Kestrel nest and found that the pair were on 5 eggs, fantastic news.
After we had finished with the Kestrel's nest we checked the Barn Owl's which contained 2 chicks and a couple of eggs. Barn Owls had a disastrous breeding season year last year, so it was again fantastic news. (You can find out more about Barn Owls on the Barn Owl Trust website).
This was quite early for the Barn Owls and the chicks are almost ready to ring. I never get tired of seeing these stunning adults up close, they are amazing to see and memories I will never get tired of looking back at.
I hope you all had a great weekend and thanks for reading!!!