I got to site around 13.00 on the 27th to find that Janet and Mark had already had a good mornings ringing with 70+ birds caught. Three mist nets were placed near standing water along a drainage line linking three man made dams on the site. With the temperatures soaring during the Aussie summer months any standing water attracts birds to drink. A fabulous place with birds everywhere and Mark was able to identify them all by call. He even got me a new bird for my fledgling Aussie list when we flushed two Painted Button Quail as he was showing me around the site. I also saw several Swamp (Black) Wallabies on site.
That first afternoon I got my first experience of ringing Australian birds and their techniques - although the ringing equipment is identical to ours and the rings made by the same UK manufacturer (Ponzana) there are difference in the naming of the ring sizes. Their size 1 is our AA and their 2 is the equivalent of our. They don't follow the Euring ageing system and use a modified calendar year ageing system. Many of the adult birds were in post breeding moult meaning I had to get my eye in quickly again recording moult scores.
That first afternoon I ringed Silvereye, White-eared Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater and White-plumed Honeyeater. A good start!
After an hour or so Mark dropped me off back at my car and I headed slowly back to Albury stopping occasionally when I saw groups of birds alongside the road. I soon added Apostle Bird, Blue-bonnet and several other species to the trip list!
A great experience and with an open invitation to join the team again its something I'd really like to do more of in the future. I might even do it properly and borrow a tent or a swag!