A Day of Surprises!

Monday, May 6th 2013

It is some time since the blog has started with a sunrise.  The bird ringers arrived and nets went up at 0530.  Today was the first Constant Effort ringing day of the year and it was to be a bumper!


It was soon very obvious that there were large numbers of Lesser Redpoll on the reserve.  By mid pm over 100 new Lesser Redpoll had been ringed and by close of play that number had reached 154, one bird short of the all time record of 155!

Lesser Redpoll

There were several controls returned to the ringing room, these being birds that had been ringed elsewhere.  When the information about one of these controlled Lesser Redpoll was entered into the computer, it said 'Foreign ring'.  Help was needed, so Tony came to assist and said that it was a bird ringed in Belgium.  We thought it very good that he knew that this ring number was from another country - but then he said it had Belgium on the ring!

Late in the afternoon a Tree Pipit was brought into the ringing room, a species that has proven very elusive in recent years but that used to breed on the reserve in days gone by.  In addition the first Blackcaps and Garden Warbler of the year were processed.  After a 0530 start the team finally wrapped up at 1945hrs after handling more than 400 birds - roughly a 14 hour ringing day!  313 different birds of 21 species were processed, the highest total for CES day 1 in the 21 years of the scheme on the site.  Seventeen Willow Warblers from previous years were caught.

Tree Pipit

At day's end the nets were taken down, bags counted, ringing room tidied, cups washed and the ringers headed for home as the sun was nearly setting.  Without doubt it had been a marathon, and extremely busy all day.  Thanks go to everyone who helped to make it run smoothly.

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