CES is a subject that the group has discussed on numerous occasions and probably goes back many years. There was talk of it every year but it never materialised. This year we finally decided we would give it our best shot and join the scheme.
CES or Constant Effort Site is the study of the birds in a certain area. We erect the same nets, in the same area, each summer, 12 times between May and August. This allows us to monitor the common species of passerines.......in Stanford Reservoirs case, Warblers, finches and Buntings.
So, Saturday 4th May was the big day. The net rides had all been prepared weeks before and the trainees were chomping at the bit!
A 5am start saw Ed, Dawn, David, Paul and myself meeting at the railtrack gate. A breeze was always on the cards after the previous nights forecast, however it was fairly sheltered in the main CES netting area.
Splitting into two teams, we erected nets from the Apple tree ride, through the Orchard and around to the feeding station. Only five net rides are standard for the CES area but the additional nets gave the trainees more species to handle and valuable practice at ageing and sexing.
Birds were segregated according to the net ride where they were caught which was fairly straight forward if you can remember which net ride you extracted the bird from! As it happens, things went very well with 51 birds being processed. Scattered showers came and went during the latter part of the session and the usual resident birds and common migrants were the order of the day.
Song Thrush 1/3
Sedge Warbler 2/3
Lesser Whitethroat 1/0
Common Whitethroat 3/5
Willow Warbler 0/6
Blue Tit 0/2
Great Tit 0/3
Tree Sparrow 0/1
Reed Bunting 1/2