One of the benefits of having such a diverse group of ringers within the West Wilts Ringing Group is that, amongst the younger members of the group, they are taking advantage of other opportunities to expand their ringing activities.
This year, Jonny has spent time ringing geese through contacts he has with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, spent time ringing birds in Portugal and, as part of being scrutinised for his A-permit by Olly Fox of the North Wilts Ringing Group and the West Oxfordshire Farmland Bird Project, spent time on various other sites in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.
Alice, currently based in Oxford where she is working towards her PhD at university there has spent time ringing in sites around Oxford with, amongst others, the prestigious Edward Grey Institute, and also spent a good part of the year on trips out with the Wash Wader Group, at Portland & Copeland Bird Observatories and Middleholm (near Skomer Island).
Lucy spent the summer as a warden for the Little Tern colony at Spurn Point, where she also got the opportunity to carry out some spectacular ringing at various places around Lincolnshire. She then spent a month or so on Lundy, watching / counting the Grey Seals giving birth, before heading back to Wiltshire for a few sessions and then heading south to Ascension Island for the next 11 months for some more wildlife monitoring.
All three of them took full advantage of their opportunities and these were the results.
It isn’t often that I am jealous of my trainees but I have to say that Lucy had me green. When she sent me this photo I was a little bit jealous: I have ringed an adult, but I would still like to ring one of these:
However, what really made me green was this:
At the time I was asked to keep quiet about the bird, but Paul, the warden at Spurn, has given me permission to use this photo in this post. What an absolute stunner! I wonder what she will get to ring on Ascension that will make me even more envious?
I think it is glorious just how involved our team is with other projects and people. Of course, I shouldn’t forget my own little foray into the Golden Valley Nature Reserve with the fabulous Aurora Gonzalo-Tarodo to ring Dippers (actually, I had forgotten until I got to this point, several days after I started putting this together):
The nails, I hasten to add, are not mine!
Here’s to an equally exciting and productive 2022!