Finally managed to persuade some of the ringing group that we really should have a go at the local swallow before it gets too late. Mike and I arrived just before 6pm and got the nets open quickly. Swallow tape on and there was soon a flock of 50 birds over the reedbed. To start with the birds were sitting on the top shelf but eventually they started to go in. The first net round produced a few swallows, 2 juv sand martins and a reed warbler. While Mike was extracting the next load, a merlin hammered through the circling flock and nailed a swallow. By the time we had processed the next load of birds it was dark and ended talking the nets down in the pitch black. A sucessful attempt produced 27 swallow (all juvs), 5 sand martin, 1 reed bunting and a reed warbler. Trying again tomorrow to hopefully more of the same.
Ringing in the garden on friday morning produced another 22 new greenfinches taking the September total to 88! 2 snipe over wwas only the 2nd garden record.