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First and Last?

Sunday, March 26th 2017

Members of the bird ringing team opened the nets this morning and caught the first summer migrant , a Chiffchaff.  They had been heard singing since the 15th March.  Two were retraps, ringed at Foxglove last summer as juveniles and the third a new bird.

Chiffchaff

Although we have caught Bramblings in May, from now on their numbers are likely to be reduced.  Several were ringed today and we decided that these were not 'our' Bramblings that have spent the winter with us, but birds from the south heading north.

Brambling

Common Toad, Mallard, Greylag Geese and Curlew were heard calling.  Three Buzzards were seen circling on the thermals over the Field Centre.  

The last of the fondant that we feed to the bees over winter had been left on their platform and in the afternoon sunshine, they were making the most of it.  They were also returning to the hive with full pollen sacs.

Hive bees

In some places the frost held on well into the morning.

Frost covered vegetation

Seeds of the Bulrush are being dispersed by gentle breezes.

Seeds of the Bulrush

This one, having fallen onto the ground, was frost covered.

Frost covered Bulrush seed head on the ground

Each ringing session gives different results.  Sometimes this is because of the weather, time of year and or the season.  Two weeks ago Siskin topped the list of birds caught.  Today, not a one.  Redpoll numbers have also decreased as they disperse to find suitable breeding sites.  Chaffinch numbers are slowly increasing.  What will we find next time?

Thank you to everyone who helped today.  A real team effort is needed to open the nets, complete net rounds, ring the birds, take down the nets, check and count the bird bags and tidy the ringing room.  We must not forget the tea makers, the washers up and the very welcome sausage rolls brought in for us all.


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