On Monday morning, myself, Tó and Ricardo met up at Veiga da S.Simão but from the outset it looked unlikely that we would get any ringing done. We took this opportunity to compare the accuracy of various weather forecasting apllications on our phones. Comparing the forecasts of Accuweather and WindGuru (also available for the UK and worth a look, as is the Met Office app - although consistently inaccurate), we finished on a score of WindGuru 2 - 0 Accuweather over the week. With the weather calling the session off, we turned our attentions elsewhere and absorbed a little culture.
A break in Mondays showers
Only me and Tó were able to attend Tuesdays session and our chest waders were much needed as there was a significant amount of flood water on the site. As we were only two, we stuck to three lines, the atricapilla, collybita and igreja lines and as it consipired, it was a sensible move to just stick to these nets. There wasn't a single cloud in the sky, in contrast to the previous day, and by 9am, the temperature was rising to a very pleasant 20 deg and 27 deg by the time we packed up at lunchtime. As we had expected, much of the activity would be in the first couple of hours and the first two net rounds yielded about eighty birds, mostly Chiffchaff and Blackcap.
A significant improvement
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
We also caught a single Savi's Warbler, a juvenile bird, that was in no real condition to migrate yet, with no visible fat to score and a muscle score of 2. Most Savi's Warblers will already be back in Africa by now, so the future of this individual is uncertain, but isn't that the savage beauty of nature?
Savi's Warbler (Locustella luscinioides)
The warbler count was boosted by a few Cetti's Warblers, a species that was largely absent during our sessions at the end of July, but turned up at the end of August. Sardinian Warblers were also present, and contributed to the eight birds recaptured from previous ringing sessions. During the session, an Osprey was hunting along the river, a regular observation during our ringing sessions at this time of year.
It was a pretty busy morning all in all, with 96 birds ringed and 8 recaptures, all of which were from previous ringing sessions at this site. We've now completed a full two years of monitoring at Veiga da S.Simão and it will be interesting to take a look back at some of the data and use this to plan for a project to monitor the bird life at this site.