20th August 2019

The busiest morning so far this year kept me fully occupied for the first few hours today. In fact, I didn’t manage to grab a cup of coffee until about 11am when things began to quieten down. 102 new birds of 16 species were ringed: 1 Blackbird, 6 Blackcap, 2 Bullfinch, 7 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Great spotted Woodpecker, 11 Reed warbler, 2 Robin, 43 Sedge Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit, 1 Whitethroat 13 Willow Warbler and 3 Wren.

Woodpecker damage – after the blood had been washed off!

Ringing woodpeckers is not without its hazards. One of the birds today was caught by its carpal and had grabbed two feet full of net. These had to be freed first in order to relieve the tension on the carpal joint and get the wing free. Unfortunately this put me within range of its bill and my right hand was well drilled by the time the bird was extracted.

Ichneumon wasp – possibly Ichneumon lugens

Finally, are there any ichneumon experts out there? The beast above was flying around the willows at the southern end of Marsh Ride but, with approximately 2,500 species of ichneumonid in the UK and little id information on line the best guess I can come up with is Ichneumon lugens (formerly Chasmius lugens). Overall length was 25-28mm, which continues my habit of only spotting the largest insects. It would be nice to nail down an id though as it’s definitely a new species for the reserve.

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