Saturday 18 May 2024

A farm in North Norfolk - 18th May 2024

  A very cold, damp and misty start that persisted all morning. A very different day to the previous day's session when t-shirts were the order of the day, again posing questions as to how well the birds are coping with the sudden changes in temperature.

The numbers were down and at 14 only half the number captured in April. We reconnected with quite a few of the Chiffchaffs done a month before, proving they were definitely at the copse for the breeding season, however none of the previously ringed Blackcaps seemed to be about and there were only two new Blackcaps. We managed three Whitethroats from the hedgerows, but Dunnock and Yellowhammer were conspicuous by their absence.

Whitethroat showing difference between young and older birds'
tails all on the same individual. Aged 5M

Totals: 8 (6)

Blackcap - 2
Chiffchaff - 2 (4)
Goldcrest - 0 (1)
Robin - 0 (1)
Whitethroat - 3
Wren - 1

Friday 17 May 2024

Sculthorpe Moor - 17th May 2024

As the beaver enclosure isn't providing for the capture of a lot of birds, we will now be dividing our efforts between the enclosure and a rushy area not far from the compound fence. Today we tried this other area and set up two double 18ms, a single 12m and a two panel 12m along with an 18m near to where we were based.

The session went quite well with 27 birds captured. We caught our first Grasshopper Warbler for the site with  supporting Sedge Warblers (8), Blackcap (3) and Chiffchaff (3) on the record sheet.

A pair of Cuckoos were in the area but evaded our nets

Grasshopper Warbler

Sedge Warbler

Totals: 26 (1)

Blackcap - 3
Blackbird - 3
Blue Tit - 2
Chiffchaff - 3
Grasshopper Warbler - 1
Great Tit - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (1)
Robin - 1
Sedge Warbler - 8
Song Thrush - 1
Whitethroat - 2
Wren - 1

Tuesday 14 May 2024

A farm in North-west Norfolk - 14th May 2024

 After reports that many Lapwing pairs had lost their broods in the cold weather, we went along anyway in that hope that some young had survived. We were very pleased to find and mark two very well grown young in the first field checked.

Well grown Lapwing with growth of flight feathers well under way.

We went on to locate several more pulli although not all could be located when we went to get them. We managed 2 of 2, 2 of 3, 1 of 3 then 2 of 2. There was another clutch of 3 that were too small at the moment.

Total - 7

Lapwing pulli - 7

Little Snoring Sewage Works - 13th May 2024

 Arranged to do an evening visit only to arrive and find the wind was a lot stronger than it should have been. We only did 90 minutes but the two nets worked well with 8 captures of which 7 were summer warblers. Not bad at all!


Total: 8

Blackcap - 3
Blue Tit - 1
Whitethroat - 3
Willow Warbler - 1

Sunday 12 May 2024

Norfolk Rivers Trust - Baconsthorpe - 12th May 2024

 A first session of the year at this site and the beavers have been very busy while we've not been here. They have now increased the depth and spread of their secondary pond, building a sticks and mud dam up against one of the boundary fences. The consequence for us, is that the double 18m no longer fits there as where we used to start the combination is now a good 7 or 8 feet into their 'pond extension'.

We managed to get 5 nets up and got a nice spread of species even 'though we only had 14 birds. Low numbers are to be expected at this stage of the breeding season.


Willow Warbler E5, P2=P5/6 not the most obvious of individuals

Total: 13 (1)

Blackcap - 2
Blue Tit - 1
Chiffchaff - 2 (1)
Dunnock - 2
Goldcrest - 2
Treecreeper - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Wren - 2

Sculthorpe Moor - 11th May 2024

 The flooding at the moor has prevented access for ringing, for months. Today we finally got on site to monitor the beaver enclosure. The beavers have raised the water level in the main ditch where they first took up residence, and there are now signs that they are travelling further afield. Their work is also leading to what appears to be permanent flooding of some heavily treed areas.

There was no sign of the beavers as usual, but catching finished on a respectable 13 new and 7 retrapped birds. This included three Marsh Tit that gained an additional darvic ring and a few birds ringed in 2022. Also a Nuthatch and Sedge Warbler.

6F ACX6507 was ringed in 2022 and can now be identified with darvic WN (13).


Total: 13 (7)

Blackcap - 1 (1)
Blue Tit - 2
Chiffchaff - 6 (1)
Great Tit - 0 (2)
Marsh Tit - 0 (3)
Nuthatch - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Wren - 2

Lesvos - spring 2024

 We booked on the first direct flight to Mytilene, avoiding Aegan change at Athens, for our stay from 23rd April to 8th May. We had some very good birding days, keeping one eye on the birders' Whatsapp group while putting a lot of time into finding our own birds. Highlights were Chris's Red-necked Phalarope on the Kalloni saltpans that a few others who'd not gone back for dinner at the end of the day also managed to see, his Barred Warbler that managed to evade everyone else but us, and my Marsh and Icterine Warblers both located by song. We managed to get most of what we wanted to see with Red-breasted Flycatcher being the only thing we hoped to see but missed.

All told we saw 182 species. Here are a few images from the fortnight.

Ruppell's Warbler

Woodchat Shrike

Black Storks

Rock Nuthatch

Ipsalo Monastry


Med on the rocks

Black-winged Stilt female

Driftwood on the beach

Marsh Sandpiper

Collared Pratincole

Algerian Hedgehog 

Red-backed Shrike female

Collared Flycatcher female

Masked Shrike

Scops Owl

Dark Spreadwing

Red-backed Shrike male


Common Tree Frog

Small Skipper

Balkan Pond Turtles

Zitting Cisticola

Spotted Flycatcher

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

Barred Warbler

Black-headed Bunting

Wood Warbler


T|HCP - a regularly seen ringed Flamingo on Lesvos

Long-eared Owl

Still as many strays on the island as when we visited 30 years ago

There are Scorpions if you know where to look

White Stork

Purple Heron

Beautiful Demoiselle

Little Bitterns were seen regularly on the river

Hummingbird Hawkmoths

Black-veined White Butterfly

Scare Swallowtail

Eastern Subalpine Warbler

Bee-eaters, seen and heard every day.