A Warm CES

Sunday, June 5th 2016

Even very early this morning it was 'snowing'.  The 'snow' could be seen floating on the surface of the ponds as the tadpoles - dare we say - were huddled together for warmth.

Tadpoles and 'snow'

Later in the morning the sun had come out and yes, it was not snow but willow seeds floating gently on the breeze.

Willow seeds

By lunch time the tadpoles had warmed up and were swimming all over the ponds and the cover of willow seeds had increased.

Tadpoles and willow seeds

By late afternoon the willow seeds were covering most of the water surface and the tadpoles could hardly be seen.  It is good that some of these seeds will not germinate!

Willow seeds

Singing birds and barking Roe Deer greeted the ringers for the first of three 4am starts.  Once all the nets were raised, a lesson was given on securing the ties that hold the poles in position.

Tying the net ropes

It was another quiet day although there were juvenile Siskin, Robin and our first Coal Tit.  A Reed Warbler was ringed and when released, returned to the Scrapes and sang loudly throughout the day.  This beautiful adult male Bullfinch was retrapped and he sat calmly as his photograph was taken, showing off his colourful plumage and very clean beak. 

Male Bullfinch

During the day the ringers shed coats and jumpers.  There was also an opportunity for the ringers to go and check more nest boxes and ring some chicks. When all the nets were down and totals checked, over 80 birds were processed of 21 species.  Ringing does not just involve ringing the birds, but includes putting up and taking down the nets, checking the bird bags at the end of the day, tea making and washing up and tidying the ringing room when everything else is cleared away.  Thank you to everyone who helped.

Out on the reserve, as stated on yesterday's blog, when the sun comes out so too do the insects.  The leaf beetles were seen on numerous plants and this one was bronze in the sunlight.

Leaf Beetle

Large Red Damselflies are the first to emerge followed by the blues.  Blue Tailed damselflies are fairly easy to recognise, but the Common Blue and Azure Blue are more difficult to identify.  This is a blue damselfly sitting in its characteristic pose, with its wings parallel to its body.

A Blue Damselfly

We wait for the Northern Marsh Orchids to appear and often walk around where they grow and do not see any sign of them, then suddenly there they are in bud and not long after in flower.

Northern Marsh Orchid


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