No Thunder, Hail or Snow!

Saturday, July 29th 2017

Red sky at night, shepherd's delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning.  We should have taken notice of this saying.  First thing, 0430, there were pink clouds although there were some very dark grey ones mixed in.

Pink sky and dark clouds

Then the sun rose and caught the tree tops turning them to gold.

Sun rise

Add to this it was a good job that the bird ringers had all brought their fleeces as it was cold.  As the morning continued so the black clouds rolled in and the drizzle and rain showers fell.  Of course these were not forecast!  During these damp spells the bird ringers checked the nets continuously. 

During August we will be at the Crater catching Mipits ( Meadow Pipits).  We had our first one today.

Meadow Pipit.

Yesterday three Kingfishers were seen on the lake.  It was too windy to open the net on the weir, but we need not have worried as one Kingfisher was caught in the Scrapes and the other near Risedale Beck.

Kingfisher

Today was CES 9, only three more to go and we have not missed one, although the weather has not made carrying out CES easy.  In the ten and a half hours the nets were raised 183 birds were caught.  Initially very few Great Tits arrived in the ringing room and Tony commented on this.  Needless to say after his comment 16 were eventually processed, many having been ringed as chicks in the nest boxes.  Earlier in the year few Bullfinches were ringed.  Over the last few weeks their numbers have increased, 14 new birds and 16 retraps were processed today. Altogether 183 birds were caught of 23 different species making today the 10th best total of the 25 years - a fairly average result!

Thank you to everyone who helped today.  CES requires a skilled team of people to raise and take down the nets, do net rounds, ring the birds, enter data, tidy up and of course not forgetting keeping the net rides in pristine condition.  A huge thank you to you all.

By the afternoon some sun appeared and the temperature rose and the insects left their shelter.  Usually you only see a side view of a Meadow Brown but this one was sunbathing.

Meadow Brown

Bees and Hoverflies were competing for the same flower.

Bee and Hoverfly on a Hardhead

Fungi enjoy damp, warm weather and they are certainly getting plenty of that.   Fly Agaric is growing in the conifer wood on the way to the wetland, where it can grow in profusion.  This is a 'youngster'.

Fly Agaric

And finally.  Early this morning, walking quietly through the Scrapes hoping to see the Water Vole but not really expecting it, there it was, with plenty of pesky vegetation between it and me.  I think it was a youngster as it was quite small.  I could see it and it could certainly see me and watched as I moved to try to get a better photograph.  It eventually decided that I was getting too close and left the raft, unusually quietly.

Water Vole


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