News Roundup!

Sunday, September 15th 2013

At the beginning of September the alarm was raised because a fire had been seen in the new plantation.  Volunteers were stirred into action but it was too serious a fire so the local Fire Brigade had to be called out.  

Fire in the new plantation

Fire being tended by the Fire Brigade

Thankfully it has now stayed out and with the forecast for heavy rain there should be no further worries.

Visitors to the Field Centre have been commenting on the migration of House Martins and Swallows.  Waves of them have been seen flying south over the reserve but the main migration is now almost over.  At the beginning of the month the bird ringers were roost netting in the reed beds nearby at Bellflask and at dusk caught Swallows and other species as they flew in to shelter overnight in the reeds. 

Swallows being removed form the mist net

The birds are extracted from the mist nets just before dark and once carefully in the bird bags are taken away to be ringed and then released at dawn.  Here are some ready to be processed.

Swallows in their bags

Swallows were seen flying overhead when the birds were released the following morning.  The newly ringed Swallows flew straight up to greet them and were given a warm welcome!  The interaction was amazing and they all seemed really pleased to encounter new friends and were noisily chattering away.  How interesting it would be to know what they were saying!!

Volunteers were busy bag packing at the Co-operative Store in Richmond today to raise funds for Foxglove. Some were busy packing, some busy blethering as you can see!

Bag packing

Can you guess who this is?  The frog was a little bigger than those seen at Foxglove, a bit greener, and made some very questionable and unusual noises!

The helpful frog

Hot from the counting house the total raised this morning was £256.14.  Thank you very, very much to all the volunteers who gave their time today to bag pack and support the reserve.

Unfortunately we do not have photographs to go with the next two snippets.  We have a Roe Deer on the reserve which is very selective and only likes ripe Blackberries!  Glennis and her friends sat on the road by the fence and watched as it walked up and down the access road and hunted for and ate the ripe Blackberries.  The green and red ones were left untouched!

Last week driving up the access road a Stoat was seen running by the Beech Hedge.  It was in very good condition with glossy red/brown fur and a dark tip to its tail.

Each day the cattle and sheep are checked and counted.  This year they have been a little more co-operative and their numbers have been fairly consistent.  Sometimes they are difficult to find as they hide in hollows and the more dense vegetation.

Sheep on the moor

This morning Brian reported all was well on the moor but the two Dexters on the wetland were making a great deal of noise.  Imagine the surprise when two of our regular visitors returned to the Field Centre with the news that instead of two Dexters grazing the moorland there were now three!  There had been another immaculate conception and one of the cows had given birth unexpectedly to a calf!

Brian managed to get this photo of the calf in the long grass being guarded by its mother.  It was considered unwise to get any closer at this stage!

Mother and calf

And finally some of Foxglove bird ringers have been out over the last two nights ringing waders with the Teesside group.  There may be one or two suitable pictures tomorrow  but amongst the catch have been over 100 Dunlin - including 2 Norwegian controls, Knot Ringed Plover, Sandwich and Common Terns, and some Redshank.  We are very grateful to the Teesside Group for their kindness and hospitality.  The experience is invaluable to our own team.

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