Saturday 20th April 2019

With crystal clear skies overnight, a full moon and a light NE breeze there was little reason for migrants to stop or linger at South Milton Ley this morning. Nevertheless, I was greeted by birdsong everywhere with the first Reed Warblers of the year and at least three Grasshopper Warblers reeling in different parts of the reedbed. The ringing was steady throughout the day but tailed off as temperatures rose. 34 birds were trapped in total: 7 Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Dunnock, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Reed Bunting, 3 Reed Warbler, 9 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler and 1 Wren.

 I had to make a temporary repair to the boardwalk across Marsh Ride as some of the pallets supporting the boards had rotted and collapsed, allowing the boards to sink and water to come perilously close to the top of my wellies. When I returned to admire my handy work, I spotted an eel in the vegetation. At first I thought there were two. It was so close I was able to touch it before it emerged and slowly made its way along the net ride. It was over a metre long, which is about as big as they get! Unfortunately my camera was back on the ringing table!

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