Birds and Work

Thursday, August 24th 2017

The day started fairly early this morning with the setting up of mist nets in an area we call the Crater; this is situated on the training area behind the reserve. We have to be up early to catch the movement of birds, mainly Meadow Pipits, as they make their way south along the spine of the country to lower latitudes. We have been known to catch over 500 of these birds in a day!

Meadow Pipits are found all around the UK from saltmarshes to upland moors, but the bulk are in the north and west. They migrate south to lowland areas where they then become more common in the winter months, even making their way to Continental Europe. Their main diet is flies, beetles, moths and spiders.

With a couple of hours of ringing these birds under licence, to gather important data for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), we came off the moor to start work with our Thursday volunteers. It was a productive day with potholes created by heavy rain filled...

…and wack-a-plated in!

We also converted some timber down at the bullet catcher (an old rifle range).

We trimmed areas where the ever-growing vegetation encroached onto the paths and track...

…and we strimmed paths, which at times feels like a never ending task.

Some of our umbellifers were covered in Yellow Bellied Flies. These flies, Sciara hemerobioides, are dark winged fungus gnats and are common at this time of year. Many a tasty field mushroom has been ruined by the maggots of this fly.

Thank you to all who helped out today... we got a lot done!

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