A Surprise

Monday, January 30th 2012

The wetland ponds were frozen this morning.

View from the wetland

Foxglove leaves were coated in frost.

Frost on Foxglove leaves

And the splashes from this fast rushing stream had caused icicles to form on the vegetation.

Icicles on vegetation

Cold weather meant that the birds had emptied the feeders over the last few days so the bird ringers refilled them.

Bird feeder being refilled

Due to the very cold temperatures net rounds were carried out frequently and birds returned to the ringing room.  Lesser Redpolls, Reed Buntings, Long-tailed Tits and Siskins were amongst those birds processed.  And then quite a surprise - two Crossbills had been caught!  Although regularly heard and seen on the reserve this species is rarely caught in the nets and these two were only the 7th and 8th ringed at Foxglove. This is a young female.

Female Crossbill

The young male is more colourful.  You can see their crossed bills which they use to extract the seeds from pine cones.

Male Crossbill

 By the end of the day 200 birds had been processed, adding to the large amount of data already collected over the past 19 years.


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