Tuesday 14 February 2023

A farm in west Norfolk - 14th February 2023

 CES 8 is in the bag! Albeit the numbers seem to have steadily reduced since we started, we have managed to complete the required sessions. Still no Tree Sparrows to grace the record sheet, mainly Dunnocks and Blackbirds, several of which appear to be very faithful to this site, that benefits the birds with supplementary feeding during the winter.

We're looking forward to monitoring some other sites at the farm. We have our eye on a couple of other promising areas.

5F Reed Bunting

Totals: 19 (12)

Wren - 1
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 7 (5)
Blackbird - 4 (5)
Blue Tit - 1 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - 1 (1)
Chaffinch - 1
House Sparrow - 1
Reed Bunting - 2

Sunday 12 February 2023

Sculthorpe Moor - 12th February 2023

 A very low return for the day, only 5 birds from 6 nets over 5 hours is a bit disappointing but at least we caught a little gem. The last time we processed any of this type of Redpoll was in Gedser, Denmark a few years back.

Conveniently, we also got one of the more usual Redpoll captures so the two could be compared side by side. The Mealy is a completely different colour tone being white and grey rather than the much warmer toned buff and brown of the Lesser.

Size difference is noticeable here although there is considerable overlap in the 
biometrics of both species.

As noticed previously in Denmark, Mealy eye often appears slightly smaller and
less centrally placed than the eyes of Lesser Redpoll.

Total: 2 (3)

Dunnock - 0 (1)
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Mealy Redpoll - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (2)

Thursday 9 February 2023

River Lark, Jubilee field, Mildenhall - 9th February 2023

 Today we took a run out to meet KCV to lend a hand catching and fitting darvic rings to Mute Swans.

The river bank was badly eroded and places for swans to come out on the bank quite limited. There were only 12 swans present so managing to catch up a third of them wasn't a bad result.

Large male Z58758 receives darvic 4FPX

We did try for Black-headed Gulls but it really wasn't cold enough to promote any real interest in being fed.

Full permissions obtained for this site and waterproof clothing used to permit use of S4 disinfectant spray in line with current best practice.

Total: 4

Mute Swan - 4

Tuesday 7 February 2023

North Norfolk Turnstone coastal towns project, Sheringham - 7th February 2023

After several visits that produced nothing, namely birds too wary of the walk-in trap, too much footfall along the seafront (including a helpful lady that emptied an entire loaf in front of the trap entrance) and of course absolutely no birds in sight, we finally managed to capture and flag some birds.

We arrived just after 7am on a rather chilly morning. The birds were loafing on the rocks adjacent to our chosen area and soon joined us on the promenade. It took awhile for them to become accustomed to the trap, but eventually a few birds entered.

Our birds are ringed on the right tibia and have a red flag with white characters on the left tibia and a black, project marker, plain ring on the right tarsus. The first bird out was already ringed and carried an extremely worn ring with some digits completely missing. However, it was a bird reported at Sheringham several times since 2017 when the whole number was readable. Turnstone 137246802 was ringed under the USA Washington scheme on 31/05/2017 and is known to have been ringed at  Alert, Nunavut, NW Territories, Canada. First seen at Sheringham in September 2017. 

The ring had been fitted to the tarsus and suffered severe wear
across parts of the ring.

Due to the condition of the ring a new ring was fitted along with a much more readable flag, JAA. We intend to liaise with the ringers to ensure they continue to receive any re-sightings.

Adult female JAA, the bird ringed in Canada.

Three other birds were also captured and we look forward to receiving observations of them for years to come.

Total: 3 (1) Flagged

Turnstone - 3 (1 control)

Monday 6 February 2023

A farm in west Norfolk - 6th February 2023

 Winter CES 7. A chilly morning with freezing fog produced 22 birds, many of which were retrapped individuals. We continue to hope for Tree Sparrow captures, but failed again. It seems they must be somewhere else, using one of the other many supplementary feeding sites. We hope to do better with the new nest boxes this year.

Retrapped Long-tailed Tit

Hares in conversation with Egyptian Goose - a Farthing Wood Moment

Total: 13 (9)

Blackbird - 2 (1)
Wren - 0 (1)
Robin - 0 (1)
Dunnock - 4 (1)
Blue Tit - 4 (2)
Great Tit - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 0 (1)
Chaffinch - 1
House Sparrow - 1 (2)


Deepdale Farm - 5th February 2023

 It's been a while since we ringed at the farm so a quick reccie was in order this morning. The farm management has been renewing parts of the hedgerow throughout the winter and a new pond in now adjacent to the old barn.

We tried a couple of nets up by the feeders, mainly to see whether birds would continue to use the established routes in to feed and with 20 captures in just over an hour, it turns out they do.

Total: 20

Blackbird - 1
Robin - 5
Dunnock - 2
Bluetit - 6
Coal Tit - 2
Great Tit - 3