Instead of doing the usual and heading back to Manchester this weekend, I spent my first full weekend down in Gloucestershire! Several events were on the agenda this weekend, but sadly - due to the weather, not all went to plan!
Saturday kicked off with WWT Slimbridge's Festival of Birds were I was due to help with a mist netting demonstration with Slimbridge’s onsite ringers Maurice & Brian. However the number of people turning up for the duck decoy demonstrations, meant that I had to give a helping hand with this, so I spent the majority of my time ringing ducks.
Here’s several photos from the past two days….
Zen our decoy dog, who probably has the most important job by acting/looking like a fox & getting the ducks to follow her into the trap!
Teal - the most common duck caught this weekend with 36 captured. 31 new birds & 5 recaptures.
Followed by Pintail with 31 new birds & 1 recapture.
A male (above) & female Shelduck, both new birds being captured.
Gadwall often look very dull on the first appearance, however having them in the hand & being able to seem them close up just shows colourful they can be! 4 birds followed Zen into the decoy, 3 of these being new birds & 1 recapture.
and of course the Decoy Demonstration proving to be highly popular, this allowed us to promote wildfowl ringing to this weekends visitors! Above being shown how we weigh the birds, and below showing our visitors some of our recoveries that we’ve had of Slimbridge ringed birds.
Our duck hut, complete with it’s roaring fire (most welcome this weekend) after a busy few days housing 100’s of people!…… Well they didn’t all fit in at once!
In total Zen & ‘her’ team managed to capture 70 duck over the weekend – consisting of 62 new birds & 8 recaps/controls.
Saturday evening I was supposed to travel to Norfolk with my colleague Richard Hearn to cannon net Greylag Geese – however the snow we’ve experience this weekend soon put stop to that!
A snow covered Rushy Pen holding it’s hungry wildfowl!
But as much as I moaned about the snow this weekend! It was a real privilege to be asked to do the 18:30 commentated swan feed in the snow! An awesome experience that I’m lucky to get to do after a busy day in work!
The end of a fantastic weekend, and the thing I’ve enjoyed the most was being able to speak to our members & visitors and sharing our wildfowl ringing with them……..