11 Jul 2013

Summer ringing

With Hilbre quiet at the moment thoughts turn to other ringing projects and we've just returned from our now virtually annual visit to Foxglove Covert, a reserve on the Catterick Army base, to help with one of their busy CES (constant effort site) weekends. John Elliot, Jase Atkinson, Scot Reid and yours truly set off at teatime Saturday for the journey across the M62 corridor and up the A1/M to Catterick to find some kind person had left bread, butter, biscuits and cakes for us with a note saying 'for our visiting ringers'. Fantastic!

A quick walk round and then an early night with the alarm set for 03.45 stupid o'clock. None of us slept well and the alarm went off all to quickly!

A very tiring day with 226 birds processed and lots of walking! It was great to meet so many interested members of the public who are made welcome in the ringing room and once again we were well looked after with homemade flapjacks and chocolate cake to keep us fortified.

The ringing room at Foxglove Covert LNR - photo by John Elliot. Jase & me.

A good variety of birds were caught with Marsh Tit being especially welcome as we certainly don't get to see many of those these days in Cheshire.

It was a knackered group that left Catterick around 3.30 pm for the drive home. It was a long and busy day.

Last night saw John & me back on the River Lune helping with the N Lancs ringing groups Sand Martin RAS project (re-
trapping adults for survival). A beautiful though humid evening with Kingfishers & Grey Wagtails amongst the throngs of Sand Martins for company.

The catch wasn't as big as on previous occasions but we still manage to catch the now ubiquitous French control...................

Meanwhile, back at home. The Goldfinches nesting in our Laurel hedge have fledged so I've now been able to cut the hedge back to a more reasonable height. The nest was beautifully constructed from coconut matting fibres, bits of blue string, feathers and grass stems!

On a sad note the Robins, I've been protecting from Magpies, that nested in an open fronted box in the ivy on the front of the house fledged but were all taken by a neighbours cat. I know that as I got the corpse back. The impact on our wildlife by domestic cats is huge. From now on its war.

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