Swallow Roosts - Water Eaton
In previous years we have enjoyed considerable success ringing Swallows at roost in a maize field by the River Thames at Water Eaton. This year the farmer has moved the crops around and the maize field is now further away from the river.
Our first effort was on 21st August when we had a really good team out, joined by Olly Fox and so we were ready for a hoped-for big catch. Swallow numbers were building really nicely with over 450 present along with quite a few Sand Martins but then we were treated to a lovely display of aerobatics by a Hobby and then it went in the net and as I ran towards the net the Hobby rolled out of the net which is a real shame. When Hobbies appear it really panics the hirundines and they often disappear completely, tonight the flock dispersed but came back into roost right at dusk. We ringed 88 Swallows and a pretty impressive 16 Sand Martins and we thought it was a good start to the Swallow roost season.
On 24th August we had another really good team out and the Swallows once again were present in good numbers and things were looking good until another Hobby appeared and scattered the flock and so we only ringed 33 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins and a Reed Warbler.
On 28th August again we had a good team out and there were lots of Swallows but tonight two Hobbies came and caused havoc and we ended up ringing 36 Swallows and a Sand Martin.
On 30th August I was joined by Olly but very few Swallows appeared and then a Sparrowhawk did us the honour of popping into the net before we ringed 18 Swallows.
On 5th September I was joined by Gary and Graham and we sat around for a few hours having a really good chat but the Swallows pretty much failed to turn up and we only ringed five so I have called the Swallow roost season to a halt, it really just did not happen this year.