Sunday, July 9th 2017
There was a full moon as the bird ringers drove into Foxglove. As the nets were raised I went for my early morning walk , 4am, accompanied by bird song, including Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Tawny Owl and Moorhen. Crossing into the middle moor I put up a Hare. Not wanting to disturb it too much I retraced my steps. John was in and set off with his big camera and got this shot of a male Hare. There was also a smaller, younger female on the moor possibly being courted by the male? A beautiful photograph - one for the calendar?
Forty six nets were expertly raised by the ringers and net rounds returned many birds. As I scribe I am still thrilled as the year progresses. Winter migrants followed by summer migrants, few females caught and then the influx of juvenile birds. There were many today including Great Tits and Robins, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps. We had a spell where very few Bullfinches arrived in the ringing room. Twenty eight Bullfinches were ringed today and 14 more caught as retraps from previoous sessions. In total over 250 birds were processed.
Juvenile Redstarts made their first appearance in the nets for this year..
Some of the youngsters are now in post juvenile moult and for some, like this Robin, it means moulting into adult plumage and the charactristic red feathers. You can just see a tiny red feather under its eye.
Thank you to everyone who helped on a busy ringing day, providing sausage rolls, plenty of cups of tea, helping with the inputting of data and checking the bird bags.
The birds are expertly removed from the nets, as are other creatures who find themselves there. Stacey removed a Southern Hawker dragonfly, to the sound of its mechanical wing beats. She had a healthy respect for its jaws! Stacey and Alicia then had another encounter with a wasp. It was carefully placed on a leaf, but examined further and photographed as its ID created some debate. Once back in the ringing room it was identified as a Lunar Hornet Moth. This is one of the largest clearwings and presents a fearsome sight to the uninitiated.
Summer flowers are opening and Common Centaury caught my eye.
Some, like the Cotton Grass are dispersing seeds, unfortunately I don't think that this one has much chance of germination.
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