Sunday, April 19th 2015

One of the aims of the volunteers who 'do' the flower walk is to improve their identification of trees at all times of year.  Books are poured over and twigs, buds, leaves and flowers are examined and we are improving.  It does help that trees do not get up and move around!  The test is then to ID any new trees poking through tree tubes!

One tree 'learnt' last year was Whitebeam and it is still in the same place as it was last year, now with leaves just bursting their buds.

Whitebeam leaves

The flowers are still tightly closed.

Whitebeam flower bud

Next on the list is Norwegian and Field Maple.

The bird ringers caught over 120 birds today with some interesting birds that had been ringed before ie retraps.  There was a Chiffchaff that was 4 years old.  These tiny birds weigh less than 10g and fly thousands of miles during their migration flights.  Chiffchaffs have been heard singing around the reserve for some time now but the Willow Warblers were only heard last week, several returning migrants born here in previous years were caught today as well as five new birds. 

A pair of Willow Tits was also caught today.  The female was 8 years old and has been caught 36 times since first being ringed in 2007.  She had a large brood patch and is definitely breeding on the reserve.  This is an amazing age for another of our resident birds.  The data shows the importance of the information that is collected during ringing.  Our data base contains many tens of thousands of records and we can access data on retrapped birds almost instantly.

Other birds caught that were not so young included a Chaffinch at six years old, a Blue Tit at 8 years old and a Great Tit at three years old.

The reserve was very busy today and thanks go to everyone who helped.

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