Sunday, 16 December 2012

Beaconsfield Motorway Services - 16 December 2012

We arranged a 3.30pm meet with ESA/RMA/MRB and Margaret to give the Pied Wagtail roost another go. The pre-roost tree that we noted on our last reccie was totally denuded of foliage so we knew that in all probability the behaviour would differ to that previously observed. We plumped for a 60' in front of two Holm Oaks where we had seen birds congregating before. A 40' was placed by the perimeter road, just in case the birds pre-roosted in the surrounding hedges. The birds appeared to be hanging around in the car park with much fewer birds up on the services roof. Shortly after both nets were up a very large, very black, raincloud loomed large on the horizon. Rain had not featured in the forecast or we would probably have stayed away. As it was we continued to monitor the nets closely, while an inconveniently parked yellow van discouraged the birds from taking a line intersected by the 60' net. The 40' was pretty much redundant where it had been placed, so was swiftly taken down. A few birds found the net by the Oaks and were quickly extracted.  The van departed and as the rain eased, CL noticed that many birds were walking about, a few metres beyond our net, in the coach park. On going to have a proper look, several flew towards the net and were caught. Not wanting to risk a bad mix of dropping temperatures and rain, the net was cleared and immediately taken down. We processed the modest catch, releasing the birds to join the other individuals that were still milling about in the light from the car park lamp posts and were done by 5.30pm.

Pied Wagtail - 14