With the weather predicted to deteriorate significantly by the end of the week, I took a chance and, despite a forecast of heavy showers, arrived on site just before 6am. I managed to erect the three nets closest to the ringing station, leaving these furled, and cleared fallen vegetation from Marsh Ride before the first shower hit. This passed after about thirty minutes and all the nets were up and open by 8am.
When the weather is unsettled like this, I rely on a rain alarm app. on my phone, which sounds when precipitation is within 20km. I could see another band of heavy showers about an hour away and was well prepared for its arrival. Unfortunately, the phone signal at SML is poor and drops out altogether during heavy rain but I managed (just!) to get all the birds out and the nets furled before it arrived. Retreating to my car and, with bird bags hanging from the rear-view mirror, I was able to process and release them via an open window.
This was a real deluge and it was after 10am before I ventured out to open (and dry) the nets again. Unsurprisingly there were few birds around and things tailed off rapidly, so I packed up early and headed for home.
Final totals were 27 birds and one UK control Reed Warbler with: 1 Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Robin and 15 Sedge Warbler.