Back on to net rides 30 and 31

Monday, March 5th 2018

While Steve busied himself by making his way through the weekly checklist, filling the feeders and feeding the ponies; the thaw meant that I was finally able to get back to work on net rides 30 and 31.

Aside from the odd bit here and there 30 and 31 are now cut, and ready for the brash to be dragged from the rides as part of tomorrow's volunteer task.

We are still making good progress with the net rides, having cut 9 out of an ambitious 17 that we are aiming to complete before the end of the month.

Net rides 30 and 31 are both British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Constant Effort Sites (CES) and as such must be maintained to the highest standard. There are a total of 16 CES net rides on the reserve, all which must have nets in operation over the same time period at regular intervals through the breeding season each year.

I had my most interesting couple of hours on the reserve to date on Saturday when myself and Mel came in to see to the ponies. Firstly we were greeted by two ponies that were very happy to see us (as can be seen in this video); and then shortly afterwards we were followed from the Moorland to the Vole Ponds by a flock of Fieldfare, 85 strong who stripped the trees of berries over our heads.

After sitting for a while to watch the Fieldfare the female Sparrowhawk swooped through and took one on the wing, almost spiralling down into the brambles before regaining control and leaving with her prize.

If this wasn't good enough, we were then lucky enough to see a Little Egret on the Lake on our way down to feed the ducks. Little did we know just how special this was, it being the first recorded on the reserve; what a day to forget the camera!  

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