All Shapes and Sizes

Sunday, June 4th 2017

This is one of the busiest times of year for the bird ringers.  They are out many nights during the week checking nest boxes at Foxglove and out on the training area.  Wader chicks are also ringed.  Added to that it is CES season and we now have four 4am starts during June.  

Walking through the reed bed at the head of the Scrapes, birds could be seen flitting between the old stems.  Sometimes singing could be heard.  Reed Buntings frequent this area, particularly in the winter when they head there to roost and be safe from predators.  They are beautiful birds and can sometimes be seen feeding in the back garden.

Reed Bunting

Sedge Warblers only make use of the reed bed during summer.  They winter in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert.  An amazing journey for these small birds weighing around 12g.

Sedge Warbler

The ringers are involved in a special project to colour ring Peregrine Falcon chicks.  However before this can happen the nests have to be found and this involves many hours sitting watching for the adults returning to the nest.  Quite often the nest is out in the open but this one is a 'des res', hidden away under an overhang.

Peregrine nest

As with most birds of prey, incubation begins as soon as the eggs are laid, so there are often several days difference in ages of the chicks.  The third egg may still hatch.

Peregrine Falcon chicks

Peregrine chicks are helpless and the parents feed them for several weeks, unlike Mallard ducklings who can feed themselves shortly after leaving the nest.  The female does keep and eye on them.

Mallard and young

She also 'talks' to them so they can all keep in contact.  I heard her and was able to get some nice photos as she walked her young away from the pools above the lake, onto lake where they started feeding.

Mallard and ducklings

PS Just arrived.  Jack rings on Salisbury Plain and  has tracked this Whitethroat nest from eggs to chicks to fledging.

Whitethroat


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