First CES of 2015

Monday, May 4th 2015

Today was the first CES (Constant Effort Site) day of the year.  The same nets are raised for the same length of time on 12 specific days between May and the end of August.  Ten and a half hours is the period of time that the nets are raised, so the bird ringers were at Foxglove at 0530.  A beautiful but cool dawn surrounded them as they raised the nets.  

Winter still has its grip on the reed bed but new green shoots are beginning to appear.

Dawn over the reed bed

Hints of green can be seen around the pond and across the coppiced area.

View across the coppiced area

Blackcaps have been heard on the reserve and 2 males made an appearance in the ringing room this morning.

Male Blackcap

A Garden Warbler was also caught.

Garden Warbler

 By the end of the day over 200 birds had been processed.

CES does not just happen, it requires commitment not only from the bird ringers but from those volunteers that help by providing cake and sausage rolls and of course numerous cups of tea.  A huge thank you to everyone.

Among the many birds processed were 29 Bullfinches, 23 Willow Warblers, and believe it or not a Marsh Tit that was first ringed at Foxglove on 10 July 2004 as a juvenile.  This makes it the longest lived Marsh Tit recorded in the UK and N Ireland.  It is a couple of months off the oldest Marsh Tit ever recorded anywhere.  It has been trapped 42 times on the reserve which says a lot for the way the birds are handled by the ringers whilst in captivity.

A note just arrived from Jack on Salisbury Plain:-

Hope you managed to get out today I had a disaster. With weather forecast looking good set out at 03.45hrs,  Out of the car I was greeted by strong wind and then it started raining, so had to go home very disappointed. Anyway managed to get out nesting and found my first Whitethroat and Blackcap of the year. After some time eventually nailed the Stonechat nest with freshly hatched chicks.


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