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WEEKEND WILDLIFE

Weekend Wildlife , Saturday 14-8-2021

It’s the weekend again and time for another Weekend Wildlife . And today’s venue is a bit of a surprise. It’s not the wildflower meadow this weekend , instead it’s a rather large Sewerage Treatment Works . I should also mention the sewerage works is a fully functioning facility. The old redundant slurry beds are now a series of lagoons and wildlife reserve, still owned by our local water company.



The site is secure and not open to the public and access is by invitation only so this is a real treat. It’s also less than a quarter of a mile from my office and has been on my radar for a few years now. So this morning at five o’clock ( still very dark and way too early in the morning ) we assemble at the main gate to meet our guide for the morning , Matt. Today we are joining a group , lead by Matt of local bird ringers. I should point out we are here to observe, bird ringing is a serious business and takes years of training.

Birds are captured from various points around the site and then processed at a central point. A visual inspection to age and sex the bird is carried out before the bird is ringed , weighed and measured and the information recorded. This takes only a few moments and then the bird is released. These records help to build up a detailed picture of bird population , migration and so much more. It’s reassuring to see just how much care and respect the team have for the birds , with the birds welfare being first and foremost. It also becomes quickly apparent just how dedicate the team are , as well as their in-depth knowledge of all things feathered. Five odd hours just fly past ( please pardon the pun ) with many different species coming in for processing by the team . Seeing these birds so close up really gives you a different prospective. And it also reconfirm the importance of protecting wildlife habitats, not for our benefits but with nature being the first priority. So I have to say a big thank you to Matt and his team for a first class morning . Having photographed birds for many years this is probably he most unique experience and definitely the closest I have been to among others , a kingfisher.

Home for the second leg of weekend wildlife ?

And so we return home slightly tired, but having had a fantastic morning . We have only been home for a few minutes when we spot a very poorly young fox in the garden. The poor thing is suffering from our foxy nemesis, mange. We manage to corner the fox and call for backup from our local rescue centre and various neighbours. The male or dog fox looks very young , possibly one of this years cubs. Unfortunately despite the efforts of the assembled gang of fox catchers he manages to escape up a tree and over the garden wall. We will keep trying to catch him , hopefully whilst he still has the strength to fight off the mange.

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