Monday Jobs and Returns

Monday, February 13th 2017

Having worked yesterday this did not feel like a Monday morning. A few jobs had come to the fore from the Weekend and I was determined to make a start on them, and luckily for me I had Charlie to help me achieve this. We had had some strange footprints on one of the rafts. These rafts carry a wet clay slab to indicate what had walked on the raft, but if we are unsure we set a motion sensor camera to see what we have moving up and down the Beck.


 

Once set I walked the green route to inspect a few way-marker posts that indicate which route to take. Some had been needed to be replaced so I wanted to know the extent of the damage. While I did this Charlie gathered up the Water Vole rafts to give them a bit of a tweak as they were becoming waterlogged and in need of more floatation.

 I juggled a few jobs at once; soaking new posts in preservative to prevent them rotting at the base like the old ones, and gathered up materials to finally repair a few things on the Lake Hide. The wet weather had prevented me doing these jobs, but with the glorious sun drying the South West facing timber on the hide I was able to get on and complete 95% of the job, and make it water tight by the end of day.

The low sun gave stunning views of the reserve…… What a place to work!


Having only started to ring a year ago I am always pleased to get a recovery, but in this case it was a 'control' which is a bird that was ringed by someone else and I have caught it elsewhere and recorded all the biometric data such as wing length, weight, age , etc. My records go to the BTO ( British Trust of Ornithology) and the person who ringed the bird is informed. That numbered metal ring ties that bird to the person who put the ring on in the first place. In this case it was a Swallow that I had caught when up in the very North West of Scotland, near Cape Wrath and the ring/ringer was from France. The bird below was a nestling Swallow during the same trip.

The Swallow in question had flown all the way to the very North West tip of Scotland from Paradou, Bouches-du Rhone, in the South of France, a distance of 1780 km.
 

As you can see below this Swallow still had a fair way to go on its return journey!


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