Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Spring 2013 ?

9th April and it is still feeling decidedly wintery. We have been enjoying a few days of sunshine, but there is still very cold wind blowing. The moorland dawn chorus is building with Lapwing, Curlew, Skylark,  Meadow Pipit and Red Grouse calls fillign the air. There are still good numbers of winoter visitors around - such as Brambling but the first summer migrants have been spotted this week - Swallow and Wheatear.

The wind dropped enough over the weekend to do some bird ringing at the moorland bird feeding station and a good variety of birds were caught. (Many thanks to Tom Hutton for these photos).
 Project volunteer and Langholm Initiative Vice-Chairman demonstrating how to hold a Siskin safely in the 'ringer's grip'.
 Project Manager Cat Barlow explaining the rigning process to a group of volunteers and langholm locals.
 Project volunteers Tom Hutton, Sandy Gill and Gavin Graham enjoyinga sit down at the moorland bird feeding station.
 Brambling, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin and Blue tit were among the species caught.
Once extracted from the mist net, birds are placed into a cloth bag to help keep them calm and quiet until they can be ringed and released. Ringers use specialist kit such as these pliers to safely put the metal ring on the bird's leg. We record data such as the age and sex of the bird and  biometrics including weight/wing length. 

Check out Sandy Gill's blog  http://mrgill17.blogspot.co.uk/   for some more photos of the stunning Tarras river valley which runs through the heart of Langholm moor.