A Busy Day!

Saturday, April 12th 2014

The bird ringers arrived today in sunshine!  Birds were calling all over the reserve.  Greylag Geese, Curlew and Great Spotted Woodpecker joined in the chorus.  Although the Scrapes are still wearing their winter coat, if you look closely there are green shoots appearing everywhere.

Early morning in the Scrapes

In the ringing room birds handled included Brambling, Siskin and many Lesser Redpoll.  Several of the birds seen today are coming into breeding condition, and the Brambling especially had substantial fat scores which they had built up ready for their migration back across the North Sea to Scandinavia and beyond.  Twenty two were ringed during the session.

Lesser Redpolls have been increasing in number on the reserve over the last few weeks and today 36 were ringed.  One of the recoveries received from the BTO this week, was of a Lesser Redpoll ringed at Foxglove Covert that had been controlled at Colney Heath in Hertfordshire.

Chiffchaffs returning from the Mediterranean area have been re-aquainting themselves with the reserve.  We have also been waiting for the Willow Warblers to make an appearance and today the first one arrived!  Just as with the first Chiffchaff two weeks ago it was one of 'our' birds.  It was initially ringed as an adult in June 2012.  Weighing less than 10g this bird has now flown to and from Africa five times! 

Ben and his family were in the ringing room learning about ringing when it came in and he was able, under supervision, to release the first 2014 Willow Warbler.

Ben and his Willow Warbler

Our first Willow Warbler of the season!

Willow Warbler

Another returnee is Kidney Spot Ladybird which has arrived back at Kidney Spot Corner!  Only one though!

Kidney Spot Ladybird

During the day the temperature rose and the hive bees became very active.  They were returning to their hive carrying pollen, probably from the willow catkins.

Hive bees returning to their hive with pollen

The moth trap had been set overnight.  When all the moths had been identified and counted, there were 79 moths of 10 species, including Common Quaker, Hebrew Character and Shoulder Stripe. 

This week at Foxglove, volunteers have been involved not only with bird ringing and moths, but also with the art activities, habitat management, addressing envelopes for Undergrowth, carrying out administative work and helping with the visit of Lord Zetland.  All of these varied tasks help to make Foxglove a very special place.  Many many thanks to everyone involved.

And finally the pools under a blue sky!

The pools under blue skies!


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