Where to Start?
Sunday, April 10th 2016
The bug hunting volunteers will be pleased that their favourite things are really on the move. A tiny red speck, out in the sunshine, was not the remains of a red fruit or berry but actually a Red Spider Mite.
Finally the bridge rails yielded some life, a single shieldbug instar and a tiny one at that, but it is a start.
The bees also decided to have some fun in the sunshine and became very active in the hive and outside. There was some concern that they were about to swarm, but they calmed down and retreated back inside the hive, at least for the time being. If you look carefully you can see some bees carrying their pollen sacs.
The Scrapes ponds were quiet as the Toads have finished spawning. They have returned to their land haunts. Woodpiles, holes in the ground, under stones and generally hidden away are their preferable homes. These two toads were hidden under the wriggly tin that we leave out around the reserve for the amphibians and ever hopeful, the Common Lizard.
Whilst checking the garden nets there was a call to say that a Crow was harassing a Buzzard.
Back down on Earth the bird ringers were ringing yet more Lesser Redpolls. 21 new birds and 28 retraps. Interestingly some of these retraps had been initially ringed in January and are still on the reserve. Siskins are still coming onto the reserve and another 17 received rings today. Surprisingly we ringed four Brambling. Chaffinch numbers are continuing to increase. There were also some Great Tits, ringed in the nest box at Downholme that had made the journey of 6km to Foxglove.
We had another Lesser Redpoll control (a bird ringed elsewhere and caught at Foxglove) taking our total of controls for 2016 to 9 already, and we have also had 6 recoveries of our birds caught elsewhere!
A surprise today was a new Marsh Tit. Could it be an offsrping of our old one? Ever hopeful. Marsh Tit numbers are declining and the bird is on the Red List.
Another of our summer migrants arrived, a Willow Warbler.
Sometimes our common birds get overlooked. Blue Tits are notorious for giving the bird ringers some nasty nips but then looking so angelic whilst deciding where to bite next. This stunning male Blue Tit really stood out among his peers.
Bird ringing start times have been quite late of recent weeks, but an email this evening is certainly food for thought - CES is about 2 weeks away, the first CES kicks off at 0530. Get the alarm clocks out!
Thank you to everyone who helped during the ringing session.