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Duck trap success again!

Friday, February 2nd 2018

Over the last couple of days we've been continuing to manage the net rides, pruning branches that may get in the way of mist nets and pollarding trees where needs be. 

The objective is to end up with a bank of trees either side of the net rides that are no higher than the top of the net when it is in place. Sprouts from previously pollarded trees are weakly attached to the knob, and should be cut every 2 years to prevent branches becoming too thick and heavy.    

The whole process causes quite a mess; especially given that many of the Willows we've been cutting have not been pollarded for many years.

Some of the brash piles have gotten pretty huge; shifting the brash to the bullet catcher will be the first task of tomorrow's February Worky Day. 

Aside from the practical work going on at the net rides we have had a very successful day with the duck trap; catching two drakes, one very familiar, one not so.

That's right! This year's first Mallard into the duck trap was the very same drake that was raised by Tony and Sophie, who used to chase Rona and Whin around their back garden.

Both Rona and Whin seemed very pleased to see their old mate again, and once back with Tony at the Field Centre Mr.Drake seemed very relaxed too.

The other occupant of the duck trap was our second male Moorhen that was released onto the scrapes with a shiny new tag on its leg, but not before decorating Ian's chainsaw trousers. 

Once he had finished pecking my fingers I was able to get this quick picture where you can see right through both nares (nostrils); both clearly dry and open suggesting good health.

And finally, continuing on with the wonderful world of birds; we have been graced with the prescence of a young Grey Heron that has taken to hanging about near the Field Centre over the last week.

As Tony rightly suggested, it's most probably on the look out for the froglets and toadlets that are due to be spawning over the next few weeks as we head towards spring.


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