A Lovely Surprise!

Monday, September 17th 2012

Some time ago a request was made to the John Spedan Lewis Foundation.  This was set up in 1964 by the John Lewis Partners to commemorate the life and interests of the founder of the John Lewis Partnership, John Spedan Lewis.  They provide funding for projects in horticulture, ornithology, entomology, environmental education and conservation, with preference given to small projects with an educational content.

Our funding request was for various materials to help with bird ringing.  Our application was succesful and a variety of nets, rings, strings and bags were ordered from the BTO.  This morning the box was unpacked by Sally and Sandra.

Unpacking the box!

It was like Christmas morning as each package and parcel was checked and examined, with explanations from Tony as to the use of certain items.

More pressies!

The ringing team includes people who are just starting their training and those who are more experienced.  Ages range from young to not so young.  Most Sundays throughout the year they can be seen in the ringing room, weather permitting.  Normally it is a dawn start, which can be very early during the summer months, and the nets are up for several hours.  During the spring they check many nest boxes on the reserve and the training area.  They also ring on a variety of other sites around Catterick and, of course, not forgetting the visit to Cape Wrath.

Visitors are always welcome in the ringing room where the process is explained.  Information concerning the data collected is on display and other facts that we learn from ringed birds is discussed.

The items we have been able to purchase will help and be well used in the continued work of ringing birds and collecting data. We are very grateful to the John Spedan Lewis Foundation for their help.

Although the weather forecast was not very good for today, ringing went ahead.  It was a busy day with over 190 birds processed.  Twenty two Chiffchaffs were caught and these are likely to be some from further north on their journey south.  Greenfinches were numerous and these included two females who were still busy with their young.  Other species included 4 Blackcaps, 2 late Willow Warblers, 8 Goldcrests, 29 Coal Tits, 27 Chaffinches, 4 Lesser Redpolls and 16 Bullfinches.  Altogether 21 species were caught.

Thank you to everyone who helped today, not only with ringing but those who kept the tea, cakes, scones, biscuits and jelly babies readily available!


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