Monday, May 15th 2023
CES 2 was completed yesterday. Not many birds were caught as half the population is sitting on nests.The Blue Tit 'on camera' arrived back in the box and could not get comfortable. She was moving the eggs and shuffling around until things were just right and she settled down.
The team caught a Willow Warbler that has been ringed elsewhere. Once the details have been sent to the BTO we will find out more information about this bird. Mark took a photo as a record showing that it was a very smart individual.
Once CES was completed some of the large nest boxes were checked. The records that had been made about 10 days ago were very useful, allowing the ringers to go back to the correct nests. In the first box checked, were two quite well grown Tawny Owl chicks. Both received their rings and were completely unphased by the whole operation. You can see that there is a size difference, which is quite normal, as the female starts to brood her eggs as soon as she lays. She lays one egg every one to to two days and they hatch with that age difference. There is always a reason for nature to do things the way they do. Owls can lay up to 4 to 5 eggs and in a good food year the pair will fledge all of them, in a poor year only the biggest, strongest and probably that is the eldest will survive.
Other boxes were checked and will have to be returned to in a few more days as the chicks were too small to ring. Many thanks to the bird ringers for continuing this valuable work.
The morning had started out misty highlighting the many spiders webs across the reserve. These ones are very fine and although they look very good, a photograph does not do them justice, however a web spun in branches of the Spindle tree was just right. Couldn't see the spider though.
Pond Skaters hibernate over winter, tucking their long legs away carefully to avoid any damage, and they have now arrived back on the ponds. They usually move around quickly, but this one stayed still long enough for a reasonable photo to be taken.
And finally. Poplar Hawkmoths are excellent at sitting just where you put them and staying there. A good background helps to enhance its beauty. I think I can only say that this one had not read the correct book! It flew from a lovley background to the legs of a bench! As it was the first one of this year, I wanted to record it. I hope others are much more co-operative.
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