On Top of the World

Thursday, September 4th 2014

Ringing at The Crater is like being on top of the world.  However, this morning there was not a lot of world to see due to the mist.  The Mipits were still flying around and were curious about the nets, so had to sit on the fence to investigate!

Mipit investigating the nets

There are many pools and even in the mist the Mipits were flying over them and walking along the edges.  They do not appear to drink or bathe from these pools, unless they do so when the camera is not there!

Mipit by pool

In July a survey of The Crater recorded over 100 species of plants, invertebrates and amphibians.  Today more species were noted.  There were several groups of these red fungus.  Slugs were browsing on them.

Red fungus

Toadflax was seen growing amongst the grasses and Brambles.


Although not new to the species list the Blackberries were doing well.

Ripe Blackberries

A beautiful Garden Cross Spider was found right in the middle of its web.  Its legs spread to detect any movement that could be prey.

Garden Cross Spider

The nets were raised at 0600 and were taken down at 1330, by which time the mist had burnt off, the temperature was rising and some of the world could be seen.  During this time over 185 birds were processed.  There were three retrap Meadow Pipits, one from Tuesday, one from  two weeks ago and one from an earlier session.  This is most unusual.  Two female Reed Buntings were newly ringed along with a tiny Willow Warbler.

At the end of the session one Mipit dropped in to say goodbye sporting its new ring!

Newly ringed Mipit

Today's session brings the total of Mipits ringed this year to 602 with 7 retraps - and it is still early days.  Additionally 3 Reed Bunting, 6 Goldfinch, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Long-eared Owls, a Linnet, a Sparrowhawk, and a Whinchat have been caught up there too.  We are the only site in the country where these numbers of Mipits are ringed. 

As nets, poles and bird bags were being packed away, three Buzzards were heard and seen, of course they were 'our' Buzzards!

A grand day on top of the world!

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