Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Last week catch-up and yet more Waxwi's

A morning session at the greenhouses feeding station on UEA produced another control this week, a Male chaffinch (V917944). Otherwise a fairly standard morning with 48 birds.

6M Chaffinch - control V917944
Totals (retraps)

Dunnock 1
Blackbird 5 (1)
Great Tit 3 (7)
Blue Tit 4 (13)
Chaffinch 2 + 1 control
Greenfinch 4 + 1 from Rob Robinson (2.5miles)
Goldfinch 3

With the generous permission of the John Innes Centre we were able to attempt to catch the waxwings in their carpark. 15 were present when we arrived but before we'd even got out of the car they'd b*ggered off (I think they recognise my car...). After an hour 7 came back but decided to change their flightpath so our net was in the wrong place. So we put up another net and caught 2. A lot of effort for two waxwings...

Anyway the good news is that those berries are now exhausted and they've made the short hop to UEA Campus (hoorah) where the group were successful in catching a further 11 birds yesterday (although i'm informed that about 30 bounced...)


  1. Hi there, how do the control birds work? Are they birds that tend to stay in the area?

  2. Hi,

    A 'control' is a bird which is caught wearing a ring put on at a different site, further than 5km from its recapture.

    A 'retrap' is a bird which is recaught at the same site it was initially ringed at (or within 5km).

  3. In this case, we caught the chaffinch in the photo and found it had a ring on its leg already, its ring number was not one of ours, nor (as far as we know) anyone's from within 5km. Therefore its classed as a 'control'.

  4. brilliant, thank you. I assume that when you catch a control bird you submit the number to let the ringer know?

  5. exactly, all our records, new birds, retraps and controls, are submitted to the BTO. They then use the data and send details to the original ringer about where the bird has been caught and any measurements etc. The BTO then also send us the original ringing details. On the blog you will find these details as 'recoveries'.