Another Busy Day

Monday, March 4th 2013

A walk around the reserve first thing this morning revealed a hidden corner of Foxglove Covert.

A hidden corner of Foxglove

Birds were singing and the Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming.  Having only caught one or two of these birds over the last few sessions, today there were several. Tony explained how they would be coming back in to the reserve to set up their territories ready for breeding.  A Green Woodpecker was also heard calling loudly.

The bird ringers were kept busy extracting birds from the nets.

Bird ringers taking birds from the nets

We had an early insight into the breeding season, as these Blue Tits showed off their nest!

Cake with Blue Tit nest!

Happy Birthday Eleanor!  The cake was delicious!

Eleanor cutting her cake

Visitors often ask why we ring birds.  One of the reasons is to find out about the birds longevity.  Today there were several birds over three years old.  However the 'winner' was a Coal Tit, weighing in at less than 10g, who was hatched in spring 2005, making it nearly eight years old.

A five year old Willow Tit was also caught.  These birds are in serious decline due to loss of habitat.  They like to live in willow carr and nest in cracks in the bark of older trees.  No young were ringed at Foxglove last summer.

Willow Tit

Many visitors, young and not quite so young, experienced the birds close up and under supervision were allowed to release them.  Over 200 birds were processed today including many Brambling, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll - a very respectable total for 9 trainees! 

Thank you very much to everyone who worked so hard today.

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