Nest Boxes and More

Thursday, April 21st 2016

An email arrived in the bird ringers inbox giving them the dates of CES, the first, weather permitting should be Sunday the 1st May.  Enough warning to prepare for an early start and time to check those alarm clocks.  Then all went quiet and spring slowly made some progress. Another email, this time it was for the start of the nest box checking, in the evenings, both at Foxglove and across the wider training area.

These are images from last year.  Although this photo does not show it I can recall some very, very cold evenings and lots of layers were needed.

All ready to go

Boxes have to be carefully opened to see what is inside.

Checking the nest box

Detailed records must be kept.

Recording data

The nesting season continues right through to mid July.  It is a very busy time for the bird ringers.  Many of the boxes in Foxglove are adopted and at the end of the season details are sent to those who have adopted a box.  If you wish to adopt-a-box there is just still time to have one for this nesting season.  Details are on the web site or call in at Foxglove.

Going back to CES, the net rides have been prepared and will just need a final check next week.  At the end of CES some of the poles are removed as the net rides are not used during the winter.  Today volunteers have been returning the poles and ensuring that all the ties are there and that the poles are oiled so that they come apart easily.  A big task.  Thank you for all your hard work, the bird ringers will appreciate it at 5am on a cool May morning.

Changing the topic totally now.  Ater waiting for so long for the flora to grow, everything seems to be happening at once.  The Cherry trees are beginning to open their flowers.

Cherry flowers

Crossing the middle moor an inspection for Yellow Rattle seedlings was carried out and sure enough they are there.  This is really good news.  It will be interesting to see how far the seeds have spread this year.

Yellow Rattle seedlings

From plants to inverts.  Whirigig beetles live up to their name.  This photo shows the beetles and also the rings they make on the water as they charge round and round.

Whirligig beetles and thie rings

The queen bee was found today, laying eggs.  Kidney Spots ladybirds have finally been reported on their Ash trees.

Now to vertebrates.  Newts were seen in a pond.  These are the last amphibians to lay eggs.  A pair of Kestrels were soaring on the thermals above the field centre.  Green Woodpeckers feed on ants and they were observed doing so this afternoon.

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