Net Ride 56

Friday, February 10th 2017

The temperature struggled to get above freezing as we continued with the final job of the week , the wood chipping of net ride 56, next to the Field Centre. A light dusting of snow coated the surrounding trees, but never really threatened more.

Net rides feature a great deal at the reserve and each is known by a number seen on a red disc, the one we were working on was 56. We are an important bird data collection point for British Trust of Ornithology (BTO). We use mist nets along these rides which is a safe method of catching birds. These nets are checked on a regular basis by skilled, licensed ringers, and if the birds are present they are removed to the Field Centre for processing and finally released.  Although we were not ringing birds today it is necessary that these net rides are maintained.

Each bird is aged and sexed using different plumage characteristics, Various measurements are recorded including wing length, fat deposits and weight before finally releasing.  

 It was just Charlie and I who were in today, but although we had the easier job of laying the wood chippings it was still labour intensive with over 30 wheel barrows of chippings, and the slatted bridges to raise and stake.

 We also had to clear away the brash that was not used ……

….. but finally the job was done and we felt all the effort over the last two days had been worth it.

The last of the outdoor jobs was the daily check of the Exmoor Ponies before retreating to the Field Centre to complete the end of week jobs.

Thank you to Colin who filled the bird feeders for the Weekend, I am sure the birds are more than grateful in these low temperatures,  and Charlie for all the above effort.

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