26 November 2014

Helston gulls and our first Skylarks

After putting up a new Barn Owl box with the National Trust yesterday, I couldn't resist stopping off with a loaf of bread at Helston Boating Lake to see what gulls were around. I soon had a good gathering of Black-headed Gulls, along with a few other scroungers. The few birds there included the regular White 23D8 from Berkshire, but also a young Herring Gull with a nice blue ring!

W:047 was ringed on an industrial estate roof in Falmouth in June. This is only 15km from Falmouth, but still interesting to see it leaving the town rather than hovering round eating chips.

White 23D8 and Blue W:047 hanging out together
Later in the afternoon we then set nets out at Predannack in the hope of catching some of the 100+ Skylark using the set-aside fields there. Setting up seven nets in an 'H' pattern, we put a 'tape' on pre-dawn and at first light walked the adjacent field, moving over 30 birds towards the nets. But with a little too much dawn light, we only managed to catch eight birds, but now know better for next time (tomorrow). These are the first Skylark ringed by the group and weighing in at almost 40g some were quite impressive!

Swithching the 'tape' (actually an MP3 player) to Meadow Pipit, which seem to be less wary of nets in daylight, we topped up the day's catch with 16 Meadow Pipits.

Bit hard to see, but the 'H' of nets now furled for tomorrow morning

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