Gull City

There are few species that can polarise people in the way urban gulls can. Noisy, messy and a nuisance are the norm for most when asked about these colonisers of conurbations. Although I appreciate that they do cause people problems, as someone who’s research interests include urban bird ecology I find it difficult not to…

Swallow Pi

I’ve wanted to use Raspberry Pi in my MPhil research for a while. So, being a new comer to it all, I’ve decided to keep it simple and try to use the R-Pi NOIR camera module to examine nest attendance; both during the incubation and chick rearing stages. Before deploying it properly a test run at a swallow nest in which the young haven’t long…

A morning with Banded Demoiselles

With a busy indoor day ahead of me, there was nothing for it but to slip out early for a short stroll . My destination was the short stretch of  the old Glamorganshire Canal as it runs through the grounds of Cardiff Castle. In its hey day the Glamorganshire Canal was a busy and important piece of…

Good Hunch!

Well I had hoped that there was a swallow ringed elsewhere by someone else lurking at the stables, and there was! This gorgeous male is a proper control – i.e. not form down the road! This is the second swallow I’ve caught in as many years that has been ringed by someone else. Last year…

Cardiff’s swallow season so far

As we enter the second week of June, its as good a time as any to see how swallow season 2014 is progressing at Cardiff Riding School. The answer is quite simply, not that great. Although12 first broods have been initiated, which is fairly average for this time of year, a much higher proportion are…

Little Mover

A couple of weeks ago, whilst trying to catch woodpigeon at the Cardiff Riding School,  I had a slightly unexpected “bycatch” – the first swallow catch of 2014! Seeing the bird in the net set my heart racing as it was not colour ringed, which usually indicates a bird from elsewhere. Such birds have turned up…

Nesting Underway!

Just over a month ago the swallows returned to my study site, Cardiff Riding School. Despite some wet and windy weather during that time, the birds haven’t wasted much time in getting on with the task of making the next generation. At least four females are sitting tight on clutches of eggs. Unfortunately, I missed the…