Monday, 26 October 2015

Day 346 - A Super Sunday

Up close with a fabulous Bullfinch
Hey everyone today's Day 346 and yesterday, I had an incredible Sunday. I started off waking up at what should have been 20 past 7, but because the clocks had gone back, was 20 past 6. Now, it was quite early for a) a Sunday and b) a half-term. This, however was worth the lack of sleep as I went bird-ringing and then I went to help out at my favourite local nature reserve, Nosterfield.

So, in today's post I will be talking about first, the bird ringing, and second, how I helped out at Nosterfield.

I didn't know Goldcrests have tiny feathers
like little eyelashes!
Bird Ringing

Such a cute bird the Long Tailed Tit
Well, the place I went ringing was near the Ripon. In fact it was on the edge of a military training area. now, don't worry, we had clearance to go in there by the people that run it. My favourite, yet nerve-racking, sign was one that I couldn't get a photo of but it said 'Warning! Do not touch any military debris as they may explode and kill you.' I'm not joking, that's what it said. :-D Anyway, on with the ringing. We had what was technically 5 nets set up. We had 2 nets set up in between to hedges so that if a bird flew out of one it would fly into the net. We also had 3 elevator nets set up (they were all joined together). What these were, were just huge nets going up to the top of the trees around it, they could be taken down with hooks on the poles that were holding it up. This was probably the most productive, due to its size, and we caught some very nice birds. One of these which was actually caught before we got to the ringing place and was also caught 3 times! It was the lovely Fieldfare, now we had seen some of these in the past (see my Fieldfare post here), but we only got some very bad shots of a couple in a field, taken from the car window, but this one was very up close and I even got to hold it and set it free! That's what I love about Bird Ringing, not only do you get to help out the birding community, but you get some really close-up experiences with birds.
A fabulous Fieldfare up close

So, a big thank you to the East Dales Ringing Group for inviting me over to do this incredible activity. 


Love the lichen on this Nosterfield sign
Well, I've said that I was helping out at Nosterfield but I haven't said what I was doing, well I have been cutting down some saplings and some mini-trees! Now, I didn't just go there with a hack-saw and just start to cut down some random trees. No, no I didn't, . It was an organised by 'the mere minion' (quoting from him) Whitfield. Also, we weren't just chopping down any trees, we were chopping down a lot of the Ash Saplings. Now, both me and Charlie (a Moth Expert that volunteers there) raised the point 'why are we being nasty to Ash, is it National Be Nasty to Ash Day?' or as I called it 'N-ash-ty Day'. Well, the reason that Whitfield told us is that if we didn't get rid of them then they would completely block out the view of the lakes. So, what we had to do was get rid of them at an early age and stop them growing. The process was that I chopped down some of the saplings with some loppers, and my dad painted over the tiny stump with special blue chemicals that would stop them growing. Everybody using the chemicals had to wear gloves as they could be irritating but my Dad somehow managed to get some on his head and turned into a Smurf... :-)

And still time for a walk!
Silton Forest changing colour

After that, well Esme still needed a walk, so my family were off out to another of my favourite places, Silton Forest. I hadn't been for a week or so so it was great to get back there. It was nice to see all of the trees changing colour and see if we could spot any new fungi. I didn't find anything different but it was still nice to walk in the woods. I then went home and sat down in front of a nice log fire!

So, that is my report on my favourite Sunday for a long time.

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had an amazing day Zach, you got some stunning shots! - Tasha