Saturday, 4 January 2014

Christmas / New Years Update

I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year, and have managed to get out birding or ringing at least once this year so far!

I enjoyed a lovely Christmas break at home with my family. There really is nothing like waking up to a cup of tea, rolling over to look out of my window and seeing Redwing, Song Thrush, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Treecreeper, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Long-tailed Tit, Blue and Great Tit all feeding 30ft away!

We had a couple of nice cold mornings, a wonderful Christmas dinner cooked by my sisters and a long Boxing Day walk on the moors near Llanfair Caereinion.

Icy start to the day...
...but with a warm winter sun
Gets better the longer you look at it
My family on the Boxing Day walk -
(Right to Left) - Dad, Mum, Jen, Mel and her boyfriend Nath.
Enjoying the featureless view, driving rain and biting wind
A break in the clouds gives a good view back to the Breidden hills

Chris joined us in Shropshire on the 27th for a couple of days, then we went back to his on the 29th. We then headed back to Bangor on the 31st for one final 2013 woodcock lamping session. After failing to catch 5 times when I was with him, I didn't have my hopes very high, but with wind and rain in our favour, he finally made a catch!

Lovely juvenile

This little juvenile was caught very quickly, stayed perfectly still for ringing, processing and pictures, and then flew off without a sound when released; an altogether different experience to my first woodcock mist netted on the 16th November.

We went out again on the 1st, to a different site, and our luck was definitely in. Chris managed to catch 3 more juveniles!

I've spent the last 2 days applying for jobs and getting some university work done, but the next 2 weeks will be solid university work. I've got an exam and 3000 word essay due on the 17th, plus 4 blogs to write, a presentation to put together, progress to be made on my dissertation and a few more jobs to apply for. I am certainly looking forward to the end of this degree now and getting out into the ornithological, conservation, working world!

Happy New Year and happy birding to all !

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