CES 1

Monday, May 6th 2019

As the new year dawns, so the cycle of nature begins.  Winter is left behind and the reserve turns from blacks and browns to the varied greens of spring.  Primroses and Dog Violets show themselves as spring develops.  Orange Tips are on the wing.  Winter migrants leave and summer migrants arrive.  And just as spring moves on so May sees the beginning of CES - the Constant Effort Scheme run by the BTO.  The same nets have to be raised for the same length of time on the same days each year. 

The 27th year of this scheme started at Foxglove on Sunday, at 6am.  It was very cold but no wind as there had been on the day before.  The birds woke slowly but their songs soon filled the reserve.  At this time of year the bird population is usually halved, as the females are sitting on nests.  For the first CES it was quite a busy day.  We also ringed our first juveniles of the year, some Robins.  You can see it still has its large gape and tiny tufts of down.

Juvenile Robin

Siskin, Bullfinch, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were amongst the 23 species of birds processed.  Blackcaps had been heard around the reserve and we ringed our first of the season.

Male Blackcap

The bird ringers were supported by several volunteers who do not ring; from inputting data, checking ring numbers, cleaning bird bags, carrying ladders, scribing…


...to making tea, washing and tidying up! All of this support helps the day to run more smoothly and is greatly appreciated. A special shout for Linda who provided tasty tea cakes too and who celebrated her birthday yesterday, Happy Birthday Linda!


We have seen Mallard ducklings on the wetland, via the camera.  There is now, at least one duckling on the lake.

Mallard and Duckling

And finally.  I have been trying to take a good photo of a Cuckoo Flower showing its light pink/purple colour, but most have ended up white and totally washed out.  Another one was going to join the long list when I realised that it would not, because there in the middle of the flower was an orange egg.  The Orange Tip butterfly had been out on the flower meadow on the moor.

Cuckoo Flower and Orange Tip butterfly egg


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