Dawn, Dragonfly and Crossbills

Monday, July 11th 2011

It was a silent reserve as the bird ringers arrived at 4am,  but the birds began calling as this spectacular dawn broke. 

Dawn

The mist nets soon started catching the birds and then a surprise in the net - a juvenile Crossbill.  These birds had been heard calling around the reserve for the last few days and more than 100 were seen and heard today.  Their crossed bills are adapted to take the seeds out of pine cones but some had been spotted sampling the peanut feeders.  By the end of the session we had caught 3 of these beautiful birds, no mean feat as they feed mainly in the tops of the conifers.

Crossbill

Crossbill

The ringing team worked hard processing 283 birds in the ten and a half hours the nets were up.  This was the third highest total achieved for CES 7 with 297 birds being caught in 2002.

We do not only catch birds in the mist nets!  This Southern Hawker Dragonfly was carefully extracted.  Once released from his bird bag he clung onto a branch and started to “shiver” to warm up before flying off strongly.

Southern Hawker Dragonfly

This beautiful nest is the home of Sedge Warbler chicks.  They were ringed locally by the ringing team.  Five of the 7 eggs hatched and all the chicks fledged.


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