Sunday, 4 December 2011

More pied wagtails

Thursday afternoon saw a few of the group attempting to catch a pied wagtail roost that had been building to over 500 birds in recent days. The birds had been using two or three clumps of trees so the key was selecting the right one. we set up three nets- a double height (8shelf) 30 in front of one roost tree and some around one tree. the flock dithered and  a few decided that our trees would be the best for the evening and we caught 10% of the flock. 58 birds in total- including 2 white wagtails and 2 birds wearing rings.

The ringed birds were from a roost 2.9 miles to the south east. the first ringed 11 days previously (where Dave and Will caught 5 birds after running around a busy petrol station with nets(!)) and the other was from this same roost ringed earlier this year. The sex ratio was even and there were approx 80% juveniles. All birds were roosted overnight in boxes (to save bending tails in bags) and released at first light the following day. Hopefully the roost will stay in the same place and we can try again.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Last Waxham trip and Campus feeder ringing

As the autumn comes to a close and the leaves leave the sallows on the coast we squeezed in one last trip to the east coast for the year. The winds never swung round to full east as promised but we still managed a reasonable catch for the day; new (retrap)

Wren 2(1)
Blackbird 6
Song thrush 3
Robin 12(3)
Dunnock 1(1)
Goldcrest 5
Redwing 2
Chiffchaff (1)
Long tailed tit 4(1)
Blackcap 1

43 birds processed. We did see 2 firecrest in the woods - but failed to catch either.

We also managed a couple of sessions at UEA at our feeder site with a good haul, however the numbers of retrap tits mean that we are close to having seen them all once or more before....time to move sites in a while.

Details of visits 4/5-11-11 and 9-11-11.

Blue tit 6(26)
Great tit 6(23) - one local control (<5km but not our bird)
Chaffinch 6- including some large winged males carrying a lot of fat
Goldfinch 25(2)
Greenfinch 13- bring our total this year up to pre 2008 levels- a good sign surely
Dunnock  5(1)
Treecreeper (1)
Coal tit 1
Blackbird 1
Robin (3)
Nuthatch (1)
Long tailed tit 2(3)- all three wearing rings from another ringer.
Wren 1
Blackcap 1

Total= 127 birds processed.

one of the large male chaffinch- migrants just arrived?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Another Eastern Gem... this time a Pallas's

This was Iain's first "ringing tick"
 since the group started a few years
ago so he seemed pretty happy. 
A last minute decision to go down to Waxham for one last time this Autumn (for me anyway) paid off with this beautiful Pallas's Warbler that graced our nets late morning. I think it was probably fresh in as it was in the caught on the seaward side of the outer bushes and we would hopefully have caught it earlier if it had been there all morning, also it was not with a flock whereas later in the day it had joined a lotti flock. It was quite short-winged so therefore sexed as a female. We also continued to catch plenty of redpolls.

Stayed overnight for another catch on Monday morning, I shouldn't have bothered, the wind got up a lot overnight and we caught just 4 birds. 1 chiffchaff, 1 redpoll, 1 songthrush and 1 retrap robin...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Waxham Ringing (YBW, redpolls and controls)

At last, some Easterly winds! This tied in with some free time and finally we got out to Waxham for the first and possibly only time this autumn. We spent three days (12th-14th October) at Waxham and these resulted in some great catches. The first on the 13th being pictured above, this was caught amazingly in our triangle of nets out in the field for catching Meadow Pipits! The second highlight was a haul of 120 lesser redpolls on the 14th, slightly disappointing however was also on the 14th - shortly after Will found a Siberian Chiffchaff hopping round on the ground we watched it go straight into one of out nets before soon after flying out... doh, at the same time an unringed ybw was meters from the net but not going in... also NO BLUETAIL for us! Infuriating!

Congrats to every other ringer on the coast which all seem to have had a bluetail! They're common birds anyway...

Controls (anyone recognise these?) LESRE Y395783 & L530291, MEAPI L694287


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A bit of a catch up.

Due to a ringing expedition to Georgia for myself, Ross Crates (ex UEA) and Stephen Menzie (See here - I haven't been keeping the blog updated, so here's a brief catch-up.

Broads Swallow Roost

A couple of us did a swallow roost in the broads back on September 3rd, It was quite successful and we caught a total of 101 birds 96 new swallows, 3 Sand Martins and 2 Controls (L844574 & Y228006).

Campus & Whitlingham demonstrations for students

Whitlingham 26/9/11
Retrap from 2011
Retrap 2011
Retraps from 2010 and 2011


Great tit
 2 retraps from 2009, 1 from 2010
Blue tit
1 control. 1 bird from cringleford
Retrap from 2011
Retrap from 2010

Retrap from 2011
Long tailed tit
Retraps from 2011


Green woodpecker


Song thrush



Campus Sessions

We also did a couple of campus sessions catching a further 100 or so birds, mostly tits and finches, including the first redpoll of the autumn.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

MARSH WARBLER at Whitlingham!

Yesterday evening and this mornings session at Whitlingham was still fairly busy despite many of our breeding birds having moved off. I'll update with the totals later but much more exciting than the totals was this beast of a Marsh Warbler that was unexpectedly pulled out of a bird bag by one of our newbies... before quickly being passed over. Not quite believing what we were processing we took all the necessary measurements which confirmed Marsh Warbler, obviously a first for the site.

Identification features of Marsh Warbler

Short, broad bill
Emargination on p3 short of secondaries
Smaller notch on p2
Legs - pinkish yellow

Marsh Warbler
Reed Warbler

Marsh Warbler

Reed Warbler
Often a field (photographed) feature, emagination on p3 falls far short of secondaries, also note concolourous rump.

Notch length - 8.7mm (reed warbler > 9.5)
Legs pinkish yellow

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

400+ bird ringing weekend

This past weekend turned into quite the marathon with sessions running across the weekend at a range of sites. We welcomed a couple of new faces and had a fairly good turn out from the regulars.

Highlights -
Garden Tiger

Friday evening - Saturday morning - Whitlingham (East-side)
33 new whitethoats (now over 130 new birds ringed at this site this summer)
39 new Blackcaps

The moth trap produced a good number and varitey including several of these beautiful Garden Tigers

Saturday Evening - Norfolk Broads
58 Swallows caught in a roost catch.
1 Pied Wagtail

Sunday Morning - Norfolk Broads CES
After a very cold night a rather disappointing CES given the time of the year. A kingfisher improved the morning for Karl who's hierarchical privileges allowed him to ring this one (longest attending group member not to have ringed a KF).

Long-eared Bat - caught in the swallow roost
Sunday evening - Whitlingham (West-side)
21 Swallows caught in a roost catch.

Monday Morning - Whitlingham (West-side)
3 more Kingfishers

Norfolk Broads CES catch-up

Sedge Warbler - with his fat belgian bling
Got a bit behind on the CES updates, so in brief we did some CES sessions and we caught some birds. Totals not yet ready but I'll put them up when they are.

A couple of highlights were the discovery of a swallow roost at the sight (giving us something to do with extra nets the night before after setting up) and another highlight worth mentioning was a Belgian-ringed Sedge Warbler BRUSSELS 11162414.

After one of our Sedge Warblers was caught in Belgium last year, its nice to have it the other way around.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Rain delays at Whitlingham

The session planned for Whitlingham would normally have been cancelled due to the weather, but having set up the nets the evening before and with nothing better to do I opened anyway... just had to wait four hours for the rain to stop...

Missing the main catching time, nets were open 08:15-10:30 and just 22 birds caught in the morning and a further 7 in the evening before.


Pied Wagtail  2
Wren  1 (1)
Dunnock  2 (1)
Blackcap  2 (1)
Whitethroat  3
Sedge Warbler 1 (1)
Chiffchaff  6
Marsh Tit  (1)
Blue Tit  3
Great Tit 1 (1)
Treecreeper  1
Linnet  1

Friday, 8 July 2011

Whitlingham: half the nets - still mega-busy

So failing to attract anyone else to come and ring down at Whitlingham, I went myself on Tuesday nite/Weds morning. As it was only me I thought I wouldn't go mad and just put up half as many nets as the last visit. Didn't particularly stop the birds though... I didn't have time for a cup of tea let alone breakfast!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Monster Whitlingham Session (inc. control Blackcap V681658 and Chiff DNB916)

At last we got new keys and made it down to Whitlingham Sewage Works for an evening and a morning session. After 97 birds, 85 new (11 retraps) 1 control Blackcap V681658 in the evening session we new it would be even better in the morning...

We furled up around 7pm leaving the birds to feed up the rest of the evening while we set up camp. Iain started the BBQ and set up the moth traps, Karl ran around taking photos of the arse-end of barn owls, while the rest of us sat back and swigged our various warm beers, ciders and sloe gins. We then hit the sack ready for a 3am start...

The morning didn't fail to produce, with a further 151 birds, 135 new (15 retraps (not including previous day retraps)) 1 control Chiffchaff DNB916 bringing the total to a healthy 248, 220 new (26 retraps) 2 controls.

Iain worked his way through the moths and finished with c.900 moths of atleast 154 species!

Highlights include Pine, Privet, Eyed, Poplar and Elephant Hawkmoths, Green Arches, various Golden Y's amongst many more.


Whitlingham Retrap Highlights-

Jay- first ringed as a 3J 2010
Dunnock 2 from 2008, 2 from 2009
Treecreeper one from 2008
Whitethroat one from 2009
Marsh tit- 2 from 2010 and one from 2008
Garden warbler one ringed as a 3J in 2009, the others from 2010

Photos to come

Sunday, 19 June 2011

CES 5 - Norfolk Broads

This reed warbler had clearly lost its tail sometime on its wintering grounds
or on migration and had only grown this stunted half tail with strong fault bars. 
Despite an overcast morning and little wind the numbers of birds on our 5th CES visit were a little disappointing with 33 new & (10 retraps). Our first juvenile sedge warblers and grasshopper warblers of the year were caught.

Norfolk Hawker
Sedge warbler 10 (5)
Robin 1 (1)
Reed warbler 7 (1)
Reed bunting 1
Grasshopper warbler 1 (1)
Treecreeper 0 (2)
Willow warbler 7
Great tit 4
Whitethroat 1
Blackcap 1

Friday, 17 June 2011

Lyster the tracked Cuckoo visits Whitlingham

Ok the news is a bit old but I just noticed on the BTO website that one of their tracked cuckoos Lyster had a satellite fix from our ringing site at Whitlingham Sewage Works on June 1st.

This project is an amazing insight into cuckoo movements, what species will it be next?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A mass of recoveries - including 3 Foreign Acros

The BTO must have been busy doing another batch of recoveries as all these have just come through -

Foreign Recoveries

View Untitled in a larger map

Sedge Warbler (L492157)

Ringing details
Age: 3J  
Ringing date: 08-Aug-2010  
Site name: Bure Marsh (CES), Norfolk

Finding details
Age: 3 
Finding date: 13-Aug-2010  
Zwevegem, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Caught by ringers. 
Duration: 5 days    Distance: 247 km    Direction: 149deg (SSE)
Finder: BLB Bruxelles

Reed Warbler (N547424)

Ringing details
Age: 3 
Ringing date: 22-Aug-2007  
Site name: Salcidos, A Guarda, Pontevedra, Spain
Ringer: ESI Madrid (Icona)

Finding details
Age: 4  Sex: F  
Finding date: 31-Jul-2010  
Site name: Bure Marsh (CES), Norfolk
Duration: 1074 days    Distance: 1426 km    Direction: 33deg (NNE)
 Finder: UEA Ringing Group

 Reed Warbler (5449997)

Ringing details
Age: 4  
Ringing date: 09-Aug-2008  
Site name: Camping 2, Chenac-Saint-Seurin-D'Uzet, Charente-Maritime, France
Ringer: FRP Paris, -11
Finding details
Age: 4  Sex: F
Finding date: 29-Jun-2010  
Site name: Bure Marsh (CES), Norfolk
Duration: 689 days    Distance: 777 km    Direction: 13deg (NNE)
Finder: UEA Ringing Group

Local Recoveries

Unfortunately all the local recoveries came to an untimely end...

Kestrel - ringed at Wheatfen, Surlingham - Found dead (Road casualty) 
Duration: 596 days    Distance: 0 km  

Starling - ringed on Wheatley Rd, Norwich - Found dead (no detail), 
Duration: 148 days    Distance: 2 km

Starling - ringed at UEA - Found dead (no detail), 
Duration: 705 days    Distance: 6 km

Blue Tit - ringed on Wheatley Rd, Norwich - Found dead (taken by cat), 
Duration: 187 days    Distance: 0 km

Goldfinch - ringed at UEA - Found dead (no detail), 
Duration: 404 days    Distance: 3 km

Blue Tit - ringed in East Carleton - Found dead (in fruit netting), 
Duration: 161 days    Distance: 0 km

Blue Tit - ringed in East Carleton - Found dead (Foot caught in anti-squirrel feeder),
Duration: 86 days, Distance: 0 km 

Blackbird ringed in East Carleton - Found dead (hit window), 
Duration: 40 days    Distance: 0 km

Monday, 13 June 2011

CES 4 - Norfolk Broads

This weeks CES totals - no extra nets this time. 23 new (28 retrap).

Sedge warbler 7(14)
Robin 3(1)
Grasshopper warbler 4(2)
Reed bunting 1(2)
Reed warbler 1(4)
Willow warbler 4(3)
Blackcap 0(1)
Cetti's warbler 2
Wren 1
Great tit 0(1)

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Treecreeper Ring read

While on Campus yesterday managed to string together some photos to get a ring read on this treec - DBL672 - confirmed in on IPMR today. Ringed on 10th December 2009.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Swift flicking

After our first proper rain last night, even if just for a few hours, we were expecting some swifts to be feeding low over campus catching emerging chafers , and we weren't disappointed. In a couple of hours we caught 14 birds before they all disappeared, would have been more if it weren't for Iain disappearing for meetings every half hour leaving me to catch them on my own. Lets hope they're there again tommorow.

Monday, 30 May 2011

CES 3 - Norfolk Broads (inc. 2 Controls - X050107 & L702451)

Our third CES visit of the year was much more successful than the last, with the help of the wind dropping right off this morning, the birds (and unfortunately midges) were much more mobile. Two controls, a Bearded Tit, 5 Groppers, a fly through osprey and numerous dragonflies and Swallowtail butterflies were the highlights. 

Total 36 new (21 retrap) 2 controls

Blackbird 1
Wren 1
Robin 2
Blackcap 2
Sedge Warbler 9 (14) + 1 cont. X050107
Grasshopper Warbler 4 (1)
Reed Warbler 4 (3)
Willow Warbler 4 (2)
Chiffchaff 1
Great Tit (1)
Bearded Tit 1
Long-tailed Tit 1
Jay 2
Reed Bunting 4 + 1cont L702451

Monday, 16 May 2011

CES 2 - Norfolk Broads, 16th May

Despite having over 1000 feet of net, today's CES (inckuding extra non-ces nets) was very poor with just 28 birds being caught, 19 new (7 retraps) and 2 remaining unrung due to scaly-leg. Moth trap was quiet too but a couple of Eyed Hawk-moths were nice.


Robin (1)
Sedge Warbler 8 (4) 2*
Reed Warbler 2
Willow Warbler 3
Great Tit 3
Blue Tit (1)
Reed Bunting 3 (1)

*not ringed due to scaly leg

Saturday, 14 May 2011

First CES of the Year

Our first CES (constant effort site) visit of the year at a site in the Norfolk Broads took place on Sunday (8th May). For those who aren't familiar with CES, the idea is to run 12 visits each about 10 days apart over the breeding season. Each session is run using the same number of nets in the same locations for a set time, to produce a more standardised dataset than day-to-day ringing. This is the second year that we have run this CES.

Totals for the morning 30 new (7 retraps)

Sedge Warbler 8 (3)  All three retraps were Juveniles from last year
Willow Warbler 7
Bullfinch 4
Grasshopper Warbler 2
Wren 2
Robin 2
Blue tit 0(2) both adults from last year
Great tit 1(1) adult from last year
Chaffinch 0(1) adult from last year
Reed warbler 1
Treecreeper 1
Marsh tit 1
Reed bunting 1