Freshwater Mussels and CES 8 @ Lower Moor Farm: Saturday, 21st July 2018

Today Jonny, David and I carried out CES 8 at Lower Moor Farm.  Like every previous session this year, numbers were down on last year: 45 compared to 73.  It was an enjoyable session nonetheless.

I have been going to Lower Moor Farm for over 10 years now and goodness knows how many hours I have spent looking into the waters of the lakes in that time.  I have seen the otters, a beaver, water vole, perch, the trout species and the myriad insects. This morning I was delighted to see a freshwater mussel in Mallard Lake. It wasn’t there two weeks ago, when we did CES 7.


We then found half of one of the valves (shells) on the bank, immediately adjacent to a pile of otter scat, suggesting trout is not the only thing on their menu.

One disappointment over the last couple of years has been the disappearance of Cetti’s Warbler.  They appeared in the catch in 2015, with six individuals, both adults and juveniles but since then the numbers have been very disappointing with just 2 individuals caught in 2016 and 1 in 2017. Today we caught our first of the year: an adult male.  I would love to know why their numbers are so inconstant when the habitat is constant. Perhaps we were just lucky in 2015.

The list for the day was: Treecreeper 1; Blue Tit 4(1); Great Tit 2; Long-tailed Tit (2); Wren 4(1); Dunnock (1); Song Thrush 1(1); Blackbird 5(2); Cetti’s Warbler 1; Blackcap 11(2); Garden Warbler 3; Whitethroat 1; Chiffchaff 1; Willow Warbler 1.  Totals: 35 birds ringed from 12 species; 10 birds retrapped from 7 species, making 45 bird processed from 14 species.  As is the norm for now, the vast majority were juveniles fledged this year. The adults in the catch were the retrapped Blue Tit, Wren, and Song Thrush, one of the Long-tailed Tits, the Cetti’s Warbler, the two retrapped and one of the ringed Blackcaps and the two retrapped Blackbirds.


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