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Bird ringing report: University of Limpopo 2018-02-16 (Local News)
 
Catch of the Day: a Long-tailed Paradise-WhydahSometimes things don't go as planned, yet it all works out in the end. I had such a day on 16th February 2018 when I was ringing birds on the campus of the University of Limpopo. I had a relatively late start to the day and arrived at the ringing site about an hour later than I wanted to. To make an already bad situation worse, upon arrival it was still drizzling with rain and I had to wait a few minutes before I could get going erecting the mist nets. Given that I was already running about one and a half hours late, I decided to use only five mist nets instead of my usual 10-12.

Nevertheless, no sooner were the nets up and I had my first catch of the day, and what a looker it was - a Little Bee-eater. The nets rapidly started filling and I had a difficult time removing birds from the nets and processing those already bagged. In particular, I had my hands full with large numbers of small seed-eaters such as waxbills, firefinches, weavers and canaries. At one stage I closed the nets for about an hour to allow me some time to process the birds already caught. Some of the noteworthy catches included a pair of Orange-breasted Bushshrikes, Dideric Cuckoo, Lesser Striped Swallow, Cape Penduline-tit, Garden War-bler, Long-tailed Paradise Whydah, Brimstone Canary, a clean sweep of the three local firefinches (African, Jameson's and Red-billed Firefinch) and the stunning Violet-eared Waxbill will always crack the nod on any list of significant catches.

Some of the birds caught at the University of Limpopo on 16 February 2018   

In total, 88 birds representing 35 species were ringed. There were five retraps: two Dark-capped Bulbuls, a Southern Masked-Weaver, Scaly-feathered Finch and a Green-winged Pytilia. The catches were dominated by Blue Waxbills (17) and Southern Masked-Weavers (11), but the seven Acacia Pied Barbets caught also deserve a mention.

Catch of the day? Surely the Long-tailed Paradise-Whydah, but my first Brimstone Canary deserves an honourable mention.
 
 
Compiled by: Derek Engelbrecht  
Published on: 2018-03-05  
 
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