A Round Up of News

Tuesday, May 7th 2013


Piave was the center of work on Saturday and the units that hold wood were removed from the old Piave store and rebuilt in the new location which will be light and spacious.

Moving the shelving units

Completed units in Piave

Thank you to everyone who helped. 

We were so amazed yesterday with the number of Lesser Redpolls that came through the ringing room we totally forgot that early in the morning, in the distance, a Cuckoo was heard - the first this year.  This morning Curlew and Cuckoo were competing!

After a period of time without any rain (no we are not complaining!) Risedale Beck is running low.  Although the dams have been rebuilt many times by the volunteers they are in need of further TLC to ensure that the water runs though the pipes to the ponds.  This morning some of our younger volunteers helped Sophie (their Mam) to repair one of them.  By the time they had finished the water was running a little more freely into the pond.  Well done boys!

Repairing the dam

People have been asking about our toads. Usually you are unable to drive up the access road or walk along the paths without stopping to help them across.  This year that has not really happened due to the prolonged snowy conditions..  It was mainly male toads seen in the ponds and no toad spawn had been seen. Today however, closer scrutiny of the Scrapes suggests they did manage to spawn and that tadpoles have hatched after all.  It will be some weeks before we can be sure these are 'toadpoles' rather than the 'frogpoles'!


It is with confidence (hopefully) that this photograph shows 'frogpoles'.  These are further developed than the toads as frogs spawn at least two weeks earlier.


The last owl boxes were checked this morning: two had Jackdaw nests in them and one a Tawny Owl on two eggs.  Surprisingly she was not ringed, so Sophie remedied this.

Sophie ringing the Tawny Owl

The owl was quickly and carefully returned to her nest and we waited quietly to ensure she settled back on her eggs.  The box will be checked again for chicks, and they will be ringed when they are old enough.

Temperatures are rising and the nights are thankfully above freezing: the water in the lake and ponds is warming slightly.  It is worth stopping and looking in the ponds to see what can be seen.  Today it was shoals of Sticklebacks.


A visitor was asked to stand still whilst Brian took a photograph of the first Eyed Ladybird hanging onto his jumper!  Peacock Butterflies were also recorded along with the first Orange Tip.  A soldier beetle was seen flying around.  Our hive bees were bringing back different pollen and could be seen doing their 'waggle dance'. 

Cherry blossom can be seen in the area surrounding Foxglove but until today there was not a cherry flower to be seen.  Now that one has burst its buds hopefully more will follow to give extra food for the insects and bees.

By way of a PS on last night's blog the Tree Pipit was the first caught here since 2009, the number of Lesser Redpoll ringed was just one less than the record set in April 2010, and yesterday no less than 10 birds ringed elsewhere were controlled (retrapped) on the reserve which is an amazing number for one day - including the Belgian bird.  We much look forward to hearing the details from the BTO in due course.

Cherry blossom.

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