Monday 27 June 2022

Tern studies postponed until 2023.

It is with regret that we must announce the planned darvic ringing of Sandwich and Little Terns will not go ahead this season. It has become apparent over recent weeks that the Sandwich Tern colony on Blakeney Point is affected by avian influenza, as are other seabird species on both sides of the channel, and although there is no official directive, as yet, to curtail ringing activities in the other colonies on the point we are not prepared to risk going ahead with the project and potentially worsening the situation for other tern breeding colonies. The sites are not far apart and as always the welfare of the birds must come first when considering whether work, even when still authorised, should go ahead.

Stock photo, Hiroshi Sato.

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Sculthorpe Moor - 21st June 2022

 A productive session at Sculthorpe Moor with a good selection of juveniles in the catch. We saw a very large mixed flock again, but most didn't travel in the direction of the nets so large numbers of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits were seen but not captured.

A Kingfisher was a real treat, being one of those birds that appears in the nets only once or twice a year. Here is our juvenile along with some other 'next generation' birds that have been bred at Sculthorpe Moor.

Juvenile female

Juvenile Treecreeper

Juvenile Goldcrest

Juvenile Marsh Tit

Juvenile Blackbird

Juvenile Blackcap

Both of the resident Willow Warbler pair were caught today. It is interesting to note that he is now well into his complete primary moult while she has yet to start. It has been generally observed that males of several summer migrants arrive ahead of the females, perhaps he will be leaving for the wintering grounds before her. 

We also caught a first summer male Whitethroat. We heard him singing all morning, but it appears he has been unsuccessful in attracting a mate as when caught he showed no signs of being in breeding condition.

Total: 32 (3)

Kingfisher - 1
Wren - 4
Dunnock -  (1)
Robin - 2
Blackbird - 2
Whitethroat - 1
Blackcap - 3
Willow Warbler - 1 (1)
Chiffchaff - 3
Goldcrest - 1
Marsh Tit - 2
Blue Tit - 4
Great Tit - 3
Long-tailed Tit - 2
Treecreeper - 2 (1)

Tuesday 14 June 2022

Snettisham Coastal Park - 14th June 2022

 We started the session with Turtle doves purring as the nets were set. We could hear then all morning, but none were captured, so they were not represented within the 16 species caught. Of the 55 birds, 26 had been hatched this year including Lesser Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler these being some of the earlier summering warblers to arrive. There have been no young Reed Warblers as yet although the captured adults were all in breeding condition and the females had brood patches at the stage to brood eggs and/or very young chicks.

Two young Sedge Warblers with varying amounts of the diagnostic spotty
necklace remaining. 

Lesser Whitethroat juvenile

Amongst the Sedge Warbler young, one had already commenced its post juvenile moult and some Long-tailed and Blue Tits had started primary wing moult.

Total: 45 (10)

Wren - 3
Robin - 4
Dunnock - 0 (2)
Cetti's Warbler- 1 (2)
Reed Warbler - 4
SedgeWarbler - 10 (3)
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Whitethroat - 1 (1)
Blackcap - 1
Chiffchaff - 3
Long-tailed Tit - 3 (1)
Blue Tit - 8
Great Tit - 1
Chaffinch - 1
Goldfinch - 2
Reed Bunting - 1

Monday 13 June 2022

Farm in West Norfolk - 12th June 2022

 Today we took another tour round for pulli Lapwing and found that the birds are now mostly collected into a post-breeding flock, including several fledged young. We looked, but from that distance were unable to find any ringed or colour-ringed chicks.

We were, however able to catch and ring three Oystercatcher chicks so there was some return for the time spent in the field.

 Total: 3

Oystercatcher - 3

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Sculthorpe Moor - 7th June 2022

 A good session as one of the double nets connected, on three separate occasions, with flocks of mainly tits that are now starting to forage communally. 

Juvenile on the left and adult male in wing moult, right.
3 juveniles were amongst the 5 Marsh Tits ringed. 
Both adults already undergoing primary moult

In addition to the close to 50 tits, of which 5 were Marsh Tit there was also the first juvenile Blackcap of the season, a couple of Sedge Warbler, singles of Reed Bunting, Goldcrest, Willow Warbler, and Jay (colour ringed for the University of East Anglia study and a Reed Warbler bearing a French ring! 

Reed Warbler with ring issued under the Museum de Paris scheme.
We look forward to receiving details of where this bird was ringed.

Total:66 (3)

Wren - 2
Dunnock - 3
Blackbird - 1 (1)
Song Thrush - 1
Reed Warbler - 0 (1 French control)
Sedge Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 2 (1)
Willow Warbler - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Marsh Tit - 5
Blue Tit - 16
Great Tit - 16
Long-tailed Tit - 12
Treecreeper - 2
Jay - 1
Reed Bunting - 1

Sunday 5 June 2022

Finch House garden - May 2022

 A lot of activity in the garden, this month, with adults collecting food, then later young birds following parents around, begging to be fed and then chicks foraging for themselves. We wanted birds to continue  to see the garden as a safe place for the youngsters and only had the net open on a couple of days and made more use of the ground traps. It was interesting to see that the birds here seem to be much better at navigating their way out of the walk-in traps than those we used to catch in our South Buckinghamshire garden.

The male Blackbird was seen several times with 4 well grown youngsters towards the end of the month.


Total: 32 (7)

Woodpigeon - 1
Robin - 4 (1)
Dunnock - 5 (2)
Blackbird - 5 (3)
Blue Tit - 0 (1)
House Sparrow - 2
Starling - 15

Saturday 4 June 2022

Deepdale Farm - 4th June 2022

 Despite the stiff breeze from the North East, Little Wood at Deepdale Farm was a good spot for ringing being a well sheltered location. Although some usual rides were too blowy, we still managed to get 6 nets up and completed on a catch of 29 birds, 18 new and 11 retrapped only two being from our own ring stock.  We expect the other nine, some being juvenile Long-tailed Tits to be from the neighbouring site ringed by North Norfolk RG. We were pleased to get a couple of their oldish birds, Z574790 a Blue Tit ringed as a juvenile on 22nd June 2018 and HXH076 a Long-tailed Tit ringed 24th March 2016 and hatched in 2015 or before.

There are quite a lot of youngsters around now and we were particularly pleased with a young Yellowhammer and Coal Tit.

3JJ Yellowhammer

3JJ Coal Tit

Totals: 18 (11)
Wren - 2
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 0 (1)
Blackcap - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 9 (7)
Blue Tit - 1 (1)
Coal Tit - 1 (1)
Yellowhammer - 2 (1)