Wednesday, 19 April 2017

19/04 Greenham Common Western Enclosure

Location: Western Enclosure, Greenham Common
Session 19-Apr-2017 06:05 to 10:45hrs
Bit of a nightmare this morning. I had targeted today to ring the enclosure as the wind was forecast to be 2 to 4 mph, the lowest for this week. I intended to be out by dawn and get all five nets up as quickly as possible and to play some scarce  migrant song and calls; you never know your luck!
The first thing that went wrong was I forgot to put the audio equipment on charge when I went to bed. I remembered about 03:00hrs so some elements were not fully charged when I got up. I arrived at the enclosure just after 06:00hrs and the first net was up in just few minutes. Then things went wrong, the second net had some sort of tangle at one end. With the net fully extended I spent the next half hour trying to separate the end loops from one another and failed. I dropped the net carefully along the ride trying to avoid as much lichen as possible, left it there and erected a third net and abandoned my intention to put up all five nets. I returned to the tangled net and managed to get two loops free. After about another half hour of trying I decided the best option was to take the net down. Of course I had manage to capture lichen clumps all along the netting. Ian arrived to see me just finishing taking the net down and putting it in the bag etc. We quickly put up a replacement net and retired from the enclosure with Wheatear and Ring Ouzel in song.
We only captured a Robin (08:40hrs) and a Linnet (09:20hrs), both 1st CY females with brood patches. We persevered until about 10:30hrs when we decided we'd had the best of the morning and took the nets down.  Not the day I had hoped for.

Postscript: I got home and it took about five minutes to untangle the loops (always the way), half an hour to remove debris from the net (my lawn looked like the had been light snow in patches for a while)  and another half hour to repair a couple large tears in the net I had not seen before.

Species 27 Sightings: not very exciting today apart the expected species, Whitethroat and House Martin are recent arrivals. Two Wheatear on the FPG on the way out the only other sighting worth mentioning.

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