Last CES of 2012

Monday, September 3rd 2012

It was the 240th CES today and not a single one has been missed - although we have come very close on some occasions.  Amazing facts can be worked out from 12 days a year for twenty years, the nets up for ten and a half hours, the amount of miles walked and of course the number of birds ringed.  However it is more difficult to work out the number of pairs of wellies that have been worn out, the number of pieces of music listened to on Classic FM, the amount of milk purchased and the variety of sticky buns eaten!

On a serious note this is a great achievement by the bird ringers and they deserve a huge pat on the back for all their effort.

We await the results of CES 2012 to see what effect the weather has had on the breeding birds, both residents and migrants.

The number of birds processed during this year's CES has been significantly less than the average, especially after a bumper year last year.  However today over 200 birds came through the ringing room, including some older birds as well as juveniles.  Many of the summer migrants are on their journey back to Africa and only a few were seen today.

A surprise early this morning was a call across the radio  'We are bringing a Grey Heron back.'  This was the bird that has been seen in the Scrapes over the last few days.  Small birds such as Wrens and Chiffchaffs weigh in at less than 10g, the heron weighed over 1kg - just a slight difference!

Although herons have been ringed in nests on the training area, this was the first to be actually ringed in Foxglove Covert in 20 years.

As always with unusual birds the names of those ringers who have not already ringed the species were put in the hat and a name drawn.  Today Adam was the lucky one!  Here he is grinning from ear to ear!

Adam with Grey Heron

Later in the day a beautiful adult Willow Tit was processed, nowadays quite a scarce species.

Willow Tit

The very dark damp morning gave way to cloud and then warm sunshine.  The insects made the most of it. Speckled Woods were dancing in the sunlit glades and a Comma was also seen. This Peacock Butterfly sunning itself on a Hardhead flower (this is the rayed variety)  looked newly hatched. 

Peacock butterfly on rayed Hardhead

Overwinter we recorded many species of ladybirds hibernating. They moved around in the early spring sunshine and then they nearly all disappeared.  However in recent days they are being found and so far Kidney Spot, 7 Spot, Larch and this Eyed Ladybird have got their names on the observation board for September.

Eyed Ladybird

(1) Comments:

Tony Crease responded on 3rd Sep 2012 with...

Thanks are due to all who have contributed to the CES programme during 2012.  As a result of the erratic weather all visits have been difficult to achieve but we did it.  Many different groups leave their mark including the ringers who brave the weather and the long days, the staff and volunteers who do such a superb job on the paths and net rides, the weekend staff and volunteers who provide backup in so many varied ways, the scribe who is invaluable, and the many other friends who provide cakes, scones, bacon butties and endless pots of tea.  Truly it has been a real team effort and our very sincere gratitude goes to all who have given so selflessly of their time.

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