More Birds

Friday, June 6th 2014

As usual at this time of year the bird ringers are out many evenings and weekends checking nest boxes in Foxglove and on the surrounding training area. 

In one box there were three Little Owls.  These birds have suffered during the recent severe winters so it was good to find some healthy chicks.  Their nest does not look like much house cleaning has been carried out!

Little Owls in the nest box

The ringers also ring wader chicks out on the moors.  These are the first Curlew chicks of the year ringed by the Stroud family!

Curlew chicks

This well grown Golden Plover chick is already showing the beautiful colouring that it will have as an adult.

Golden Plover chick

The bird ringers are also involved in CES, raising the nets at dawn and ten and a half hours later taking them down.  Curlew, Cuckoo and Green Woodpecker songs greeted the ringers this morning.  Today it was CES 4. For once there was a 'proper' sunrise with blue sky and white fluffy clouds.  A total of 98 birds of 20 species were caught during the session.

Dawn approaching over the reed bed

And finally the sun showing itself over the heath.

Sunrise over the heath

It was a relatively quiet day but very interesting.  One of the early net rounds returned this adult Woodcock.

Woodcock

Several Blackcap were caught and this photograph shows the black headed male and the almost coppery brown head of the female.

A pair of Blackcaps

It was certainly the day of the Robin with 17 new birds, almost all juveniles being ringed. There were young Nuthatches, Long Tailed Tits, Greenfinches, Goldcrests, and Song Thrushes ringed also - and the first very small Bullfinch!  Willow Tits are rare and it was pleasing to retrap one that was seven years old.  Later in the day another surprise when a juvenile Willow Tit was returned to the ringing room.  Once the records were checked we found that the last youngster ringed was in July 2011.  It is good news that these birds are breeding on the reserve again.

As the forecast for the weekend was poor CES was brought forward.  Some of the ringers work, but they arrived for dawn, went off to work and then returned to help to take down the nets.  A huge thank you to you all for the exceptional support.

Volunteers at Foxglove always carry out a multitude of tasks. This week is no exception with volunteers bird ringing, preparing  for and helping at the coffee morning, mowing and strimming, trimming and loppering, meeting and greeting.  These are only a few of the tasks carried out.  As a result the net rides were in perfect condition and Foxglove is looking fantastic.   A huge thank you to everybody involved.  Footnote: thanks should also be given to those who put the blogs together and strive to keep you updated on the activities in and around the reserve.


(1) Comments:

Tony Crease responded on 6th Jun 2014 with...

I don’t contribute comments very often because a personal ‘thank you’ is probably a better answer. Today though there are just so many things to be grateful for and I hope this will reach a wider audience.  The contribution made yesterday by those who ran the Coffee Morning in Richmond was remarkable; the organisation and produce was fantastic and I very sincerely thank you all. It was a fantastic effort.

To those who have been working on the reserve - and especially the net rides - they are magnificent and the ringers are extremely grateful.  We are able to get the nets up and down so much faster, they are brilliant and a pleasure to work in.  Again our sincere thanks.

To the ringers who have been thrashed over the past month I also offer my thanks - the results are still being put together but a huge amount of work has been done and we have not missed a single nest box of the 600 or so we cover.  The take up has been very good and substantial numbers of birds have been ringed in these boxes - plus peregrines, waders and gulls as well.

Finally, to all the miscellaneous contributors who do so many essential but often mundane jobs, our Touchscreen developers, grant seekers, species monitors, blog writers, cooks and bottle washers, quiz setters and writers, and many others I cannot name specifically, a huge ‘thank you’ to you too!  Foxglove reminds me of a Robert Burns expression - a ‘weel gaun mill’!  The reserve looks the part, there are more orchids flowering than ever I have known, the wetland has just gone into the national flagship ponds scheme (the top 100 in the country), and you as a team make it all happen.  My thanks to you all.


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