Monday, 22 October 2012

Thrush Madness

Adult male Ring Ouzel
What a day at Waxham, and by the sounds of it the whole of Norfolk was the same, one of the biggest falls of thrushes seen for many years. We spent the whole day and finished with an impressive total. Early on we were gutted when a Ring Ouzel got out of the net before we got to it, however we finished the day with a total catch of 5 (we saw probably 20-30 during the day).
First-winter Male

Approx (quick skim through data) totals trapped and ringed today 06:00 - 18:00 

Robin 67
Goldcrest 43
Redwing 35
Blackbird 15
First-winter female
Meadow Pipit 12
Song Thrush 9
Chiffchaff 6 (4 Abietinus)
Ring Ouzel 5
Blackcap 3
Reed Bunting 1
Plus a few LT, Blue and Great tits

Total: c.220 birds

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Waxham ringing

A great day on the coast found us pulling two special birds out of the nets at Waxham - a beautiful male firecrest and a Yellow-browed Warbler. Both of which we hadn't seen or heard before we found them in the net. A nice supporting cast of Goldcrests, Redpolls and Meadow pipits kept things ticking over before the rain set in and we packed up.

'Northern' Blackbird

Wild About Norfolk

UEARG were recently invited to do a ringing demonstration at the Wild About Norfolk event ( at Easton College. It was a great success catching 127 birds and showing many kids and  parents birds up close for the first time. Hopefully inspiring a new generation of nature lovers while telling them about birds and ringing.


Blue tit 39
Great tit 31
Goldfinch 19
Chaffinch 10
Robin 4
Blackbird 3
Goldcrest 4
Wren 3
Coal tit 1
Dunnock 5
Treecreeper 2
Long-tailed tit 6

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Badger Cull Petition

Excuse this non-ringing post but please sign the petition.

Ask anyone with a bit of science in their background and they will tell you that a badger cull will not work in the long term. There is currently a badger tb vaccine and there is a cattle vaccine which is only waiting to be legalised. So where is the justification in this cull which is only going ahead due to farmers pressure.

30 seconds to save 100,000 lives. Please sign petition at 

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Cantley Marsh and Broads Swallow Roost

A busy day on the 7th found us at Cantley catching Acros again at dawn and in the broads catching swallows at dusk. A fairly successful day ringing a total of 162 birds.

Morning Session 06:00-13:00

Swallow Roost

Monday, 6 August 2012

Cantley Sessions

A couple of sessions at Cantley Marshes recently. A couple of weeks ago the group made a catch but dont have the totals to hand. Yesterday we attempted to make a wader catch but they weren't playing ball, neither were the swallows which didn't come into roost. A below average catch of Acros and a few Bearded tits kept us ticking along but yet again a real lack of juveniles is apparent.

Totals from 4th/5th August
Special Alice

Big Campus Summer Ring (24th/25th July)

Here are the totals from the Big Campus Ring (re-traps in brackets).

This session involved closing off the path between the UEA broad and the river. Numbers were well down on previous years. We ringed 81 new birds, with 21 re-traps. Not too many, but everybody got to do a decent few birds. 23 species isn't a bad tally, either.

2 kingfishers, 2 jays, and a magpie were the highlights. Also nice to see a couple of great tits with B rings on them, courtesy of the group's nest box ringing team.

All 5 Acros we ringed were adults -  typical of this years "breeding" season, if you can call it that!

Woodpigeon    2 
Kingfisher    2 
Wren    13 (1)
Dunnock    1 (3)
Robin    7 (2)
Blackbird    5 (4)
Song Thrush    3 
Cetti's Warbler    1 
Sedge Warbler    4 
Reed Warbler    1 
Whitethroat    2 
Blackcap    9 (2)
Chiffchaff    4 
Willow Warbler    3 
Long-tailed Tit    7 (3)
Marsh Tit    1 
Blue Tit    9 (2)
Great Tit    0 (2)
Treecreeper    1 
Jay    1 (1)
Magpie    2 
Greenfinch    2 (1)
Goldfinch    1 
Total:    81 (21)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Whitlingham still produces (5/7/12)

Despite our CES, and CES's across the country producing poor numbers, Whitlingham was as usual, nice and busy. It was our first session 'post breeding' and we were shocked by the amount of ride clearance that was necessary as we put up the nets. The amount of rain this summer has produced plant growth like I've never seen before down there - literally (the proper use of the word literally)10ft high nettles, 12ft high umbelifers and bramble patchs that have grown several feet higher than normal years - one things for sure, its gonna be a good blackberry year!

Anyhoo, to the birds. 9 nets (410ft of net) produced 115 birds - 99 new (damn we should have stay on for 5 more minutes, or not dropped that chiffchaff... Will) and 16 retraps (a couple of which were caught and ringed, as it happens, exactly a year ago (5/7/11). Sorry too busy and nothing of particular interest to photograph.

Retrap History

Whitethroat - one ringed as a 3J (juvenile of that year) in 2011
                     one ringed as a 4 (adult) male in 2011
                     one ringed as a 4 female in 2011
                     3 more ringed in 2011.

Dunnock - one ringed as a 3J in 2010, caught again in 2011
                 one ringed as a 4 male in 2008 (4 times), then twice in 2011
                 one ringed as a 4 in 2011
                 one ringed in 2011

Long-tailed Tit - 2 ringed in 2011

Great Tit - caught as a 4 in 2010
                 ringed in 2011

Blackcap - 2 ringed in 2011


Full grown  Retraps Total
Wren 6 0 6
Dunnock 7 4 11
Robin 2 0 2
Song Thrush 1 0 1
Sedge Warbler 4 0 4
Whitethroat 14 6 20
Blackcap 13 2 15
Chiffchaff 16 0 16
Willow Warbler 3 0 3
Long-tailed Tit 2 2 4
Marsh Tit 2 0 2
Blue Tit 16 0 16
Great Tit 6 2 8
Linnet 6 0 6
Bullfinch 1 0 1
Total: 99 16 115

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Broads CES and Kestrel Pulli

A very early morning (03:30) in the broads found us attempting to catch cuckoo's for the BTO's Cuckoo Project, not far from our CES. We opened the CES at 04:30 as usual, though a poor show from the birds resulted in about 30 birds (totals uploaded later) and no cuckoos. A couple of 3JJJ's (recently fledged Jays - no post juvenile moult) were the highlight.

This afternoon a fellow Norwich and former UEARG ringer Danny Thomas very kindly invited a couple of us out to ring some Kestrel pulli (chicks) in a box on the outskirts of Norwich. 4 Pulli were ringed. These were my first Kestrels, after having several adults bounce out of mist nets and never doing any pulli before, so many thanks to Danny.

Friday, 22 June 2012

CES Sessions

CES Norfolk Broads

CES 5 (21st June)
The longest day was definitely not the best day and the day also finished with a washout. Despite good conditions early on, overcast and still, the birds weren't moving (or weren't there!) A total of 7 birds - a few Sedge Warblers, a gropper, a juv Robin... Rubbish!

A narrow window of good weather saw the wind drop to acceptable levels and a trip to our CES in the Broads. The weather was too good really with sun glare on the nets from about 7am. Catches were about as expected or slightly lower than in previous years:

Catch (retraps in brackets)

Grasshopper warbler  1(2)  both from previous 2012 sessions
Sedge warbler 9(4)  1 was a 3J in July 2011 at this site and the rest from 2012 previous sessions
Reed bunting 7
Great tit 7(1)  First caught  as a 5m June 2010.
Robin 3
Willow warbler 4(2)   one first caught as a 4F June 2011
Reed warbler 3
Long tailed tit 4
Bullfinch 2
Treecreeper 2
Whitethroat 2
Marsh tit (1)  first caught May 2011
Cettis warbler 1
Chiffchaff 1
Blue tit 1

Total  47(10)

We also ran a moth trap- few species and low numbers compared to last year with just 20 specimens of 14 species

Eyed hawk moth 3
Poplar hawk moth  2
Elephant hawk moth  1
Drinker  1
buff tip  1
buff ermine  1
flame wainscot  3  * notable A
brown rustic  1
Oblique Carpet 1  * BAP species 
Silver ground carpet 2
Aethes cnicana 1
Clepsis spectrana 1
Agriphila straminella 1
Donacaula forficella  1  * notable B


                        New            Retrap

SEDWA            7             2
GRAWA            2
REEWA             1             1
WILWA             4             2
BLACA              2
GRETI                1
TREEC               2              1            (2 new were 3JJ’s)
WREN                2
BULLF               1
CETWA             1
BLUTI                               1

Total                  23            7

MUTSWA            1 (extra)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

A better day at Waxham

Following two flunks at Waxham over the past few weeks (catching about 5 birds a trip), yesterday was much more successful. As well as quite a few new birds it was nice to get a good number of returning willow warblers and whitethroats caught in previous years. We also spring trapped a wheatear and a nice male stonechat. While attempting to spring trap wheatears we also found this nice juvenile Pallid Harrier flying over the ringing site!

Total 36 new (19 retraps)
First summer Pallid Harrier over Waxham.
Wheatear 1
Stonechat 1
Blackbird  1
Robin (2)
Dunnock 3 (1)
Wren 1
Blackcap 3
Whitethroat 12 (4)
Willow Warbler 4 (6)
Chiffchaff  5
Great Tit 1 (2)
Blue Tit (1)
Long-tailed Tit  (3)
Goldfinch 4
Chaffinch 2

Thursday, 1 March 2012

More Horsford and more swans

An in the field update from Horsford...

1 Goldcrest
5 chaffinches
2 Bramblings
1 wren
And a load of tit.

So far

At Whitlingham yesterday we again failed to catch anything other than those pesky swans, 10 more before we ran out of rings.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Horsford session

A fairly average session at Horsford Woods was brightened up by a stunning male Sparrowhawk and another Brambling.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Swanning Around at Whitlingham

A few members of the group went down to Whitlingham CP to ring some wildfowl, unfortunately nothing was playing ball except the swans. But they did well and caught c.20 new swans as well as a few ring-reads. A couple of weeks before a couple of us also caught 2 mallards, one new and one retrap. 

Recent sessions at Horsford Woods have been quite good with about 120 birds last Sunday and probably approaching 80 birds on Thursday. Mostly tits and chaffinches with highlights being a couple of bramblings and a redpoll.

A chilly morning at Horsford
February Totals from campus :

Great spotted
 woodpecker 1 control

Wood pigeon 2(1)
Magpie 1
Wren 1(1)
Dunnock 3(12)
Robin (16)
Blackbird 10(1)
Long-tailed Tit 1
Coal Tit (1)
Blue Tit 4(33)
Great Tit 1(21)
Treecreeper 1
Chaffinch 2
Greenfinch 2
Goldfinch 4(1)

Friday, 27 January 2012

Ringing sessions over Christmas and the New Year

10 sessions spread out over the Christmas break saw a total of 233 birds caught, including a wintering Blackcap, a Redwing, and a "close ringed" Goldfinch - as close rings can only be put on birds when they are a few days old, this individual was probably a captive bird that escaped. 

There were of course plenty of the usual birds, Great tits, Robins, Long-tailed tits and Blue tits galore. 

This catching effort was mainly for Emily's mini-project looking to see if different brands of mist net differ in a) the number of birds they catch b) the number of birds that either see the net or c) the number of birds that 'bounce' (fly into the net and then fly out of it again). Provisional results suggest no significant difference, which is good!