Reed Bed and Ringing

Sunday, September 28th 2014

No, ringing was not taking place in the reed bed today, that will be carried out later in the year, when the Reed Buntings use the reeds to roost overnight, to gain protection from predators.  Over the last few years the reed bed has been cut and since then it has thrived.  Two good growing seasons have helped.

The reeds look fantastic against a blue sky.

Reeds against a blue sky

Reeds

On dry days, the rustling of the reeds is a backdrop to birds calling and sometimes the cheep of a Moorhen. On damp days, to put it simply, walking along the boardwalk through the reeds, everyone gets wet!

As the reeds begin to flower they are purple in colour.

A single reed

Over the last week the flowers have turned lighter? paler? less purple? and certainly more fluffy!  There is a reason for this - the reed flowers are showing their stamens and stigmas.  Reeds are wind pollinated.  In the photograph below you can see the pale lemon anthers, that produce the pollen.  Anthers are attached to the filament at their mid point so allowing the anther to move freely in gentle breezes releasing the pollen.  The stigmas have many tiny sticky hairs around them to enable them to catch the pollen.

Stamens and stigmas of a reed flower

The bird ringers have been at the Crater during the week and were there again this morning.  Today more adult Mipits in bigger numbers were caught.  Most of the birds have finished their moult, and the number putting on fat ready for migration has increased significantly, suggesting that numbers locally will drop off fairly soon as they continue to move south.  Another 244 Mipits have been ringed.  Also making a show was a Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk

and a Snipe.

Snipe


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