24 Jul 2017

Swallow ringing

Its that time of year again when attention turns to ringing Swallows on local farms. Although a late start to the season it looks as if they've done fairly well with broods of 5 being common.

Using a 3 m mist net set up inside one of the outbuildings John & I managed to catch two adults - both, unbelievably, ringed! One was ringed as an adult at the same nest site last year but the star bird was ringed by me at the same site in 2013!

She's done an incredible amount of miles since then!

10 Jul 2017


A great name and the Shetland name for Arctic Terns. A very apt description of the noise they make. I was lucky enough to be able to got the Skerries, off Anglesey, again this year to ring Arctic Tern chicks as part of a long term study that has been running for 6 years now and generated a lot of interesting data. As well as the chick ringing a number of the adults are caught each year and fitted with orange leg flags.

We left Holyhead marina in beautiful sunshine and soon saw a couple of Harbour Porpoise as we headed towards the Skerries. As we got closer more and more seabirds were seen with the seas surrounding the island filled with fishing Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots and Terns.

 It was a great few hours and the noise is deafening. The adults take great delight in pecking the top of your head with needle sharp bills so as hat is essential. Whilst having lunch at the lighthouse  I took the opportunity to take a few photos before we left - including some of the colour flagged birds.

On the way back in to Holyhead we came across an exercise involving a military helicopter and the pilot boat.

4 Jul 2017

Drinker moth caterpillar

Jan found this huge caterpillar on one of our evening walks around the village recently. Modern technology meant we had an identification in seconds! I sent a photo to Barry who replied with the identification straight away.