We had the nets up by around 19:45. Swallows were immediately noted in the area, along with good numbers of house martins. The first birds were captured by 20:20, and by 20:40 we had passed 20 individuals. The main catch was just after dusk however.
There were also some bonuses: large numbers of starling roost in the reedbed, and two birds flew into the nets; there were also single house martin and sand martin captured.
The catch was as follows:
An excellent return for the effort.
The birds were kept overnight in purpose-built roost boxes. These allow them to huddle together for warmth (releasing them in the dark could result in disorientation). They were released at dawn, and immediately formed a flock.
Thanks to Cedwyn Davies, Heather Coates and Keith Vaughton for company this evening.
|Juvenile house martin (you can just see the broad white tips to the tertials used in ageing this species)|
|Head on view of the house martin|