A Fond Farewell to the Exmoors

Monday, March 27th 2017

On this sunny weekend we sadly said goodbye to Sky and Sydney the Exmoor Ponies who had become a feature on the Moorland for the past few months. When we went to get them we thought they had escaped; they blended perfectly with the gorse background.

Thank you to Susanna Baker, the Secretary of the Yorkshire Exmoor Pony Trust, for loaning us these fantastic animals: We hope to see them back at Foxglove again next winter...

Today was mainly dealing with pre-visits of schools, and the various bookings pertaining to them ….Monday office work! Outside, however, Jenny and Elizabeth were continuing with fixing one of the damaged mist nets. I was assured they were not hanging out their laundry! These nets are bought under licence from authorised dealers and cost over £100 each!

Mist nets are used by us and other ornithologists to capture wild birds for ringing, or other research projects. They are typically made of nylon or polyester mesh suspended between two poles, resembling a volleyball net. When properly deployed in the correct habitat, the nets are virtually invisible. Mist nets have shelves created by horizontally strung lines that create a loose, baggy pocket. When a bird hits the net, it falls into this pocket. The birds are then removed by trained BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) permit holders who then process the birds in the ringing room at the reserve where data is recorded on age, moult, weight, wing length and sex. An alloy ring is also attached with a unique number (if one is not already present) which enables other ringers to find out previous data on the bird and possible routes the bird has taken over the years.


 


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