A Special Eco Club

Saturday, September 24th 2016

On arrival the wind was blowing fit to bring down the conifers!  This was not good as Eco Club was heading to the ringing room for a ringing demonstration.  Weather forecasts were checked and double checked and obviously the weather had not read them!  Whilst we sat comfortably and had a cup of tea, and of course discussed the weather, the wind dropped considerably so some nets were opened.

The bird ringers showed the children how the birds were ringed and what was involved.

Bird ringers showing ringing to the children

They were able to see how the wing was measured and how the birds were weighed.

Recording data

Using a fluffy toy bird, the children saw how the birds were caught in the net and learned the difference between residents and migrants

How the birds are caught

A huge thank you to all the volunteers involved this morning, making it a very special occasion for the children who were fascinated  to see the birds close up.

Although only a few nets were used, it was an interesting list of species recorded.  Our first Redpolls of the autumn were ringed.  There were several Siskin, Goldfinch and Goldcrest caught.  A five year old Coal Tit was noted. Chiffchaffs can visit the ringing room into the beginning of October and one was caught today.  However it is very rare that a Garden Warbler is still around at this time of year, but a juvenile was processed.

Usually we only ever show photographs of birds in the hand in pristine plumage, but in Aug/Sep the last few species are moulting and don't look their best.  This juvenile Bullfinch is moulting into his adult plumage.  You can see the reddish feathers on his breast and around his beak.  His black head feathers are also begining to show. Today's session took the number of new birds ringed in the reserve to over 57,000, and using the current cost of rings we have spent £2395 on Chaffinch rings alone!  None of this money has come from the Foxglove fund.

A moulting juvenile male Bullfinch


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