Monday, 21 February 2011

Anilhagem no Parque Biológico de Gaia

We arrived in Portugal on Saturday afternoon, following a long journey that involved a taxi, a Virgin train, a National Express coach, an Easyjet plane and then a hire car, slightly bemused by how moist it was – I didn’t realised it rained in Portugal!!! We met up with my friends Rui and Tó (I taught them everything I know....yes, it only took 5 mins!) and had a coffee and enjoyed the now dry evening in the streets of Porto. We visited a veggie restaurant in Matosinhos was a cultural experience for Tó, his wife Claudia and his son Manel, before heading into Piolho in the centre of the city, drinking a few Super Bock (and a fruit-based drink for the lady). About 2am we headed to meet up with Rui who was at a birthday party and when we arrived, one of Rui’s friends told us that we had come to a swingers party....awkward...until we went into the next room of the club where everyone was dancing to Glen Miller!
Sunday was Tineke’s birthday, so to go ringing would have been suicidal. Instead we sat out the thunderstorm and took a walk through the streets of Porto, wandering through Ribeira and looking over the D’ouro towards the Port houses of Gaia.

And so to today’s shenanigans – we picked Pedro (one of the PBG trainees) up at 6am and headed to Parque Biologico de Gaia to complete the PEEC (Constant Effort) session that was cancelled from Saturday. We were joined by three other trainees Camilo, Edna and Miguel. In addition to the PEEC nets, we put another two, using calls for Blackcap and Firecrest. The calls worked almost instantly and Tineke was soon extracting the first Firecrest she had ever seen, given my enthusiasm for Regulus, she knew exactly what it was. Of the five Firecrests that were caught, four were caught using calls but probably only one third of the Blackcaps were attributed to the calls.

The glamourous side of ringing!

Pedro & Camilo - 'Seriously lad, this is a fecking Blackcap!'

Adult Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia Brachydatyla)

Miguel and a Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

One of five Firecrest (Regulus igniacapilus)

The dark-faced Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

During the session, we caught a good selection of birds, the trainees were enthusiastic about the Redwing where as I found the Song Thrush more interesting based on the fact that we have ringed seven times more Redwing than Song Thrush in the past year, back home in Liverpool.

Once the six hour ringing session was finished, the nets were taken down and plans began for the two-day ringing trip to Viana do Castelo. Things did not run smoothly. When we arrived in Veiga da S.Simao we were met with a swollen river and a rather flooded ringing site. There was just myself, Tineke and Pedro at this point, so Tineke and Pedro donned the chest waders and myself just the usual wellies. The water level had risen by about 80-100cm meaning that the ringing site was under water but was mostly accessible with boots. Back at the car we had a bit of a rethink and we were able to identify an area where we could switch nets to, targeting Chiffchaff and Blackcap.

Chiffchaff - 4
Greenfinch - 3
Robin - 3 (1)
Blackcap - 12 (5)
Redwing - 1
Song Thrush - 2 (1)
Blackbird - 3
Chaffinch - 1
Firecrest - 1
Coal Tit - 1
Dunnock - 1 (1)
L.T.Tit - (2)
S.T.Treecreeper - (2)
Great Tit - 1 (2)

TOTAL: 37 (14)

Early start tomorrow. Update in the evening.

1 comment:

  1. Looks as if the trip's going well despite the rain. Can you bring some Spring back with you?