Monday, August 19th 2013
Yesterday morning Brian was walking around the reserve when he had a close encounter with two Roe Deer. By the time it took for the camera to come out, the doe had walked off, but the buck continued on his way towards Brian. A magnificent buck in good condition, with his antlers full grown and out of velvet. The rutting season is approaching and we suspect he was keeping a close eye on the doe.
CES 11 had another close encounter. Over the last month Nightjar have been heard in different places around the reserve. Today one was caught in a mist net in the willow carr. They are more likely to be associated with heathland, although can be found on moorland, in woodland or coastal sand dunes. It was a juvenile, so we are hoping that they have bred on the reserve. During the day they lie motionless on the ground and are very well camouflaged amongst dead vegetation. Dusk is usually the best time to see them flying. Waving a white handkerchief around attracts them. In the early years of ringing at Foxglove, white material was tied to the net to lure them in. They also came to a tape lure and flew around the old ringing hut, now the seed store. This is only the third Nightjar ringed at Foxglove, the previous two were ringed in 2002!
In close up you can see hairs at the side of the beak. These are used to help them catch flying insects. Their gape is very large!
This weekend members of The Army Ornithological Society (AOS) visited Foxglove. They ringed Meadow Pipits at the Crater on Saturday morning and helped with CES today.
Over 180 birds were processed. Fewer Willow Warblers were ringed than in recent weeks, as many have already started their journey south. Six Jays were seen together in the back garden this week and two, making their unmistakeable cry, were ringed today. Several new Wrens also left the ringing room sporting their new rings.
Many thanks to everyone, including the AOS, who helped throughout the weekend.