A freezing fog and generally birdless morning in Birkdale dunes didn't stop Mr Gramauskas (relax, he's got an "A" permit) from slinging up a 30ft mist net when we took our lunchbreak from scrub-clearing today.
Been a long, long time since I've been privvy to a bit of ringing, but in just 20 minutes, he'd caught four Long Tailed Tits, Great Tit, Blue Tit and a fine Goldcrest - which was a lot more interesting than sitting down and feeling your blood chill before the onset of the afternoon shift.
Goldcrests are of course, super classy, although I kinda preferred the chance to get some close-up shots of whiskery Long Tailed Tits with their lovely red "wattle" - wonderful little birds.
Even the increasingly vocal Great Tit looks something else at point blank range.
Apart from the Long Taileds, the area had appeared quiet bar a single Bullfinch before the net went up - just goes to show what's lurking about....
Was it enough to get me back into ringing though?
Weeellllllll, not really - nice as it was to see the birds in the hand, memories of icy evenings in the depths of winter at thrush roosts and the stink and brutality of cannon netting gulls on rubbish tips came flooding back all too quickly.
Valuable as the data from ringing unquestionably is, I think I'll stick to the 'scope and bins.
By the way, anyone seen the Weld Road Glauc recently?
I haven't had a chance to get down there for awhile.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...