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A Later Start

Sunday, July 17th 2016

Yesterday's blog showed a net ride with a difference.  Compare it to a net ride at Foxglove.  From now on the bird ringers get some extra minutes in bed before heading to carry out CES.  It was 0415 this morning, an extra fifteen minutes sleep after three 4am starts.  The nets were taken down after ten and a half hours.

Taking down the nets

Twenty four different species were processed during that time.  Thirty seven Chiffchaffs and twelve Willow Warblers, mainly juveniles, were newly ringed.  Interestingly, after recording many Great Tits that were ringed in the nest box this year, only a few returned to us today.  It is sometimes 'negative' results that are also of importance.  There were no Reed Buntings or Garden Warblers caught and only one Blackcap.  All our CES results are forwarded to the BTO and a preliminary report is published during the autumn followed by a more detailed study later.

Thak you to everyone who helped today and to the volunteers who keep the nets rides in pristine condition.

We do not just catch birds in the mist nets.  This Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moth was returned to the ringing room.  It was most co-operative and remained on the leaf for a photograph to be taken.  The food plants of the caterpillar include Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil, Meadow Vetchling and Red Clover, all of which grow on the reserve.

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moth

Although warm when the sun came out from behind the clouds the breeze was cool so there were not many other insects about.  Those that were, were busy.  A bumblebee was hanging onto the Meadow Sweet flowers.

Bumblebee on Meadow Sweet

This hoverfly was eager to land on the thistle.

Hoverfly near thistle

And finally some of the orchids growing are white and we have waited patiently for a specific clump of white orchids to open.  It was important to keep an eye on them as they were not in flower for long as something always came and chewed them.  We presumed that they must be tastier than the pink ones.  They have eventually blossomed and they are no longer white!

Once white, now pink orchids

Our orchids keep us guessing as to their parentage but now we have an added query, how or why do they change colour?

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