Martin More

Tuesday morning 29 June. Catching and ringing the Sand Martins was the easy bit. 

Later that day and back home with a cup of coffee at hand I had the wearisome job of entering each of 59 Sand Martins onto the BTO DemOn database via the day’s field sheet. Thanks Andy! 

Tuesday 29 June

There’s no bashing the keyboard with abandon, no unthinking tabbing along, because each entry is different where accurate transposition is vital with a program designed to catch out the lazy or forgetful inputter with a “do not pass” error message. 

Every wing length and every weight is unlike the previous entry where both males and females require a qualifying item of “why” or "are you sure". Thankfully the 3Js are a faster keyboard proposition without the encumbrance of underage sex to slow their progress through the system.  Recaptures and their random emergence (foot of the field sheet) don’t fit the automatic sequencing of ring numbers expected by DemOn so each must be entered on an individual basis; with fingers crossed that the number and details match previous entries! Otherwise, input is put on hold while earlier details are checked. 

And at your peril, don’t forget to split the entries into time slots that match the time of catch and weighing.  And yes, over the page there are another 25 entries and another 30 minutes or more at the keyboard. Whoever said that ringing is not work? 

Sharp eyed readers will note a large proportion of 3Js - CLICK THE PIC. In fact the juveniles outnumbered the adults by a narrow margin of 30 to 29. All of the 13 recaptures were from earlier this year and 2020. 

It appears that after a cold, slow start to the season our Sand Martins are making the most of the continued warm, sunny and settled weather of June to make up for lost time.  And we still catch new adults, fifteen in all.

Sand Martin - juvenile

Further to my previous posting of 29 June about the Spotted Flycatcher, AKE3299, here’s more information from Paul Wheatley, AKA Leeds Birder on Twitter and his piece of remarkable detective work. 

Reading a ring in the field

Great stuff, and an example to birders and ringers everywhere.