This morning we met up with Mike Reed to catch and ring Mute Swan at Truss's Island. Usually we're relatively certain of how a session like this will progress, but this time it was a little different - and I'm not talking about the pigeon with the unusual neck attire.
As usual, birds were fed on the ramp until we could get them into a position where catching was possible.
Enticing swans into reach.
Metal and Darvic rings are fitted.
The alpha numeric codes are easily read, whether birds are on land or in the water.
Processed birds continue to feed once released back to the river.
Then, just as the captures were slowing down, a car drove up with eight cygnets in the back. Our session just happened to coincide with their release from Swan Support. They had already been ringed at the centre, but we were able to add Darvic rings, vastly increasing the chance of sighting reports.
The additional eight youngsters had Darvics added, then made their way down to the water and the assembled flock.
There were some opportunities to engage members of the public and quite a few people took an interest in our activities and reacted positively to the information that we were able to share with them.
We did try to ring the pair at Stanwell but both were much more wary than usual, prompting us to think that a past problem of people going on site to shoot at wildlife may have returned.
Mute Swan - 12 (16)
28 Darvics applied to 12 new birds, 8 pre-ringed birds captured and 8 pre-ringed birds prior to release.
Other observed birds included black on white T3Z, L3O & L3N , and birds already in Mike's study 4DAZ, 4DAD, 4DAJ, 4DAG, 4DAR, 4CIW, 4DAH, 4DAT, 4DAF, 4DAU, 4DBE, 4DAQ, 4DBE and 4DAQ - all black on orange. Metal ring W28390 was also read in the field.