A Good Weekend

Sunday, July 3rd 2016

The ringing team from Cape Wrath arrived home safely on Friday evening.  The Barn Owl that nests on an island in the middle of Loch Torridon only had 8 eggs this year, and two had hatched.  Many of the chicks  ringed, across the different species, were plump, chubby and or fat which was very good.  I wonder if these two are waving goodbye?  (It is the original photo.)

Waving goodbye

Half way through CES an order for any species of owl, a Nightjar, a Cuckoo or a Sparrowhawk was requested.  The owl came close as a Little Owl was seen sitting on the stone in the heath as the ringers arrived.  This is another new species for the reserve!  No sign of the Nightjar or Cuckoo, but a male Sparrowhawk did make it to the ringing room which had been ringed 3 years ago!

Sparrowhawk

At the other end of the scale a juvenile Redstart was ringed.

Juvenile Redstart

Cotton Grass has looked very sorry for itself after the rain but when it dries out and the breeze blows so it changes and its beauty can be admired.

Cotton Grass

Meanwhile the bumblebees are making the most of the warm sun.  Foxgloves are ideal for them.

Foxglove and bees

Butterflies are tending to hide away in the vegetation so making interesting positions when trying to get the said butterfly in focus through the vegetation, especially if it is moving in the breeze. The shadow of the antennae of this Ringlet Butterfly can be seen on the leaf.

Ringlet Butterfly

We try to photograph the children after school visits and activities but sometimes it is difficult to get them all in one place and suitably organised.  There should be no such problem arranging the ringers but firstly the camera had to be sorted.

Sorting the camera

Then a walk from the ringing room to the stone seating area to herd everyone into place.

Everyone in place

After some shuffling around, a ringing group photo was finally taken.

The bird ringers

CES 6, half way and only one more 4am start.  Some members of the ringing team have just returned exhausted from Cape Wrath so a huge thank you to them for turning out over the weekend.  There were 200 birds processed including 29 new Willow Warblers and 15 Chiffchaffs. It will not be long before these birds start their long journey south.  The total was the 8th highest in the 24 years with the best being 244 in 2007.  There were 24 different species caught - just a little short of the number of ringers who took part.

Thank you to everyone who helped prepare the net rides during the week and to those who contributed over the weekend.


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