Caister beach
Welcome to the ENRG blogspot. We hope you enjoy reading about the bird ringing activities and experiences of the group.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Spring has sprung

At last we have had a couple of mist netting sessions for any migrants that may be about, finally showing that Spring has sprung.
The first session was at Winterton on 4th May, with 29 new birds and 3 retraps being processed.
It was nice getting 3 Garden Warbler, a species we seldom catch.

Garden Warbler

Wren  4
Dunnock  1 (1) originally ringed 07/04/12
Blackbird  1
Whitethroat  1
Garden Warbler  3
Blackcap  7 (1) Great to get a returning bird , this one from the Spring before, 05/05/12
Chiffchaff  6
Willow Warbler 3
Great Tit  2 (1) Originally ringed 10/10/10
Reed Bunting  1

Willow Warbler

We also had a bit of  net maintenance to sort out on site, Dave had dropped it in bracken a couple of years ago !
 It had only just came to light, but it beggars the question as to how many ringers it takes to sort one net out ?

Job creation ?

The second session was at Martham woods and a small fishing pit nearby on 11th May.
This produced  38 new birds ,3 retraps , a control and our first pulli of the year in the shape of 2 Tawny Owl.

Tawny Owl, these had 2 young Rats in the box for lunch.

Wren  7
Dunnock  4
Robin   2 (1) from 25/04/11
Sedge Warbler 6
Reed Warbler  3
Whitethroat  4
Blackcap  2
Chiffchaff 5
Blue Tit  1
Great Tit  2 (1) from 01/05/10
Treecreeper (1) originally ringed 25/04/11
Goldfinch  1 (1 control) With a French/Paris ring on, our first from France.
Reed Bunting 1

Male Whitethroat

The biggest surprise of the year so far was the ringing of an adult Buzzard at Hickling, this was a truly awesome encounter and was a first adult any of us had seen in the hand !

Adult Buzzard

On our trips we have managed seeing a few insects with the first Speckled Woods,  Large Red  and Blue Tailed Damselflies being seen at Martham on 11th.

Speckled Wood.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A few more Linnets

Another trip to Caister Beach on Saturday 20th April for Linnets resulted in our best day catch ever !
34 new ones , 3 retraps and a control were caught.
 Most of the new birds were 5's (2nd year birds).
The retraps were from 31/03/12 , 14/04/12 and one from this year,the control was L230482.
Most of the males were at last smartening up into their Summer plumage.

5M Linnet

As above , showing 5 tail shape

Vis mig consisted of several Swallow and Sand Martin and  up to 5 Red throated Divers offshore.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

More Linnets and more Easterlies

With the biting Easterlies still prevalent in the last couple of weeks there was no surprise that nothing new was going to turn up! 
So we have been concentrating on catching Linnets at Caister.
Dave, Gary and Mick went on Sat 30th March and caught 15 new birds, Dave and I went Sun 7th April  and managed 9 new and 4 retraps, a Porpoise was offshore on this date as well.
The retraps were made up of 2 from 19/03/11, 1 from 24/03/12 and another recently ringed bird. About 35/40 birds were in the area on the 7th but were proving hard to catch.

Caister sunrise.

Dave has also been concentrating some effort in his Rolllesby garden, weather permitting, so far managing a decent total of 80 Siskin and 4 Redpoll and still adding to his totals.

 Adult (6) male Redpoll, photo courtesy of Dave.

Last weekend saw quite a movement of Raptors locally, fortunately I managed to have a few over my Ormesby garden with 11 Buzzard and 2 Red Kite all together on Saturday and a stunning male Hen Harrier on Sunday.
However the Juv White tailed Eagle passed over unnoticed on Saturday.
A Rook was caught in the garden on Sunday , a very underrated bird, superb close up !

Adult Rook

The weekend also saw the first Butterflies at Ormesby with both Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock on the wing.

Small Tortoiseshell

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Incessant Easterlies

If this was the Autumn we would be praying for Easterly winds !
Unfortunately its been another non event this weekend on the ringing front with near hurricane winds, bitterly cold and sandstorms on the beach at Caister.
However this has lead to more birdwatching, a check on the beach at Caister Saturday saw at least 25 forlorn looking Linnet on the food.

Juv Glaucous Gull

From hear a scan on the beach revealed the juvenile Glaucous Gull, mentioned in the last post, loafing on the beach and no camera ! 
I beat a hasty retreat home to get the camera but had gone by the time I got back.
Another look Sunday morning saw the bird hunkered down in a field nearby, I had the camera this time but too far away !
Another trek down Sunday afternoon on an almost deserted beach saw the bird again in its usual place feeding on the beach, where these photo's were taken. It was quite settled until a beachcomber came along and spooked it, he was looking for Jet.

Juv Glaucous Gull

There was also a strong Southerly passage of Kittiwakes and Gannets, 18 Sanderling were also on the beach.
In the fields nearby a flock of 21 Skylark revealed themselves.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Snow Bunting gone

We have been trying to get  to Caister for Snow Bunting for several weeks now,unfortunately the weather has been awful.
Its been a quiet Winter here for them with a flock of around 40 most of the time, 54 birds have been ringed in just 2 visits. It did peak at 63 in November, recently numbers have dwindled and finally disappearing on Wednesday 13th when the last 2 were seen.
We finally made it there too late on Saturday 16th !
However a few Linnet had started using the area with around 25 birds there.

Adult (6) male Linnet

The same bird , not really in it's Summer finery yet.

 (5) Female Linnet.

15 Linnet were caught plus 2 retraps, these both originally ringed on 06/04/2012.
While waiting for the Linnets to turn up a 1st Winter Glaucous Gull flew north at 06.10 then was seen on the beach at 07.00 to 07.10.
There has been large numbers of Gulls at Caister recently due to a wreck of Razor fish,also present were 3 Med Gulls.
Offshore 3 Gannet and a Brent Goose flew north with a Red T Diver on the sea.

In other news Dave has had some success in catching a few Siskin in his garden at Rollesby.
While in mine at Ormesby they are an infrequent visitor, so when 3 were seen on the feeders it was quite a surprise. One male was caught on Sunday, see below.  

Male Siskin.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Still quiet !

Saturday 2nd March saw another visit to the cover crop at Ludham. We were joined by a new ringer to the area , Jason.
James has continued feeding the site ,Wood Pigeons are still a problem and continue to gorge themselves, however a feeder has been placed in the hedge and this has enticed a few birds back. The idea was to take this away when we used the whoosh net to get them back on the ground, they seemed quite reluctant to do this with only a few taking the plunge.
14 birds were caught with 8 new and 5 retrap Reed Bunting and a single new Brambling.
About 200 Bewicks and 15 Whooper Swan were seen flying in during the morning and a Common Buzzard flew over.

When we were last here Nathan had found this half eaten Weasel impaled macabrely in a Hawthorn bush. 

The afternoon was spent at another duck pond in Hickling, John had kindly invited us along and had continued to feed there. 
About 30 Shelduck, 20 Mallard and 10 Teal were seen near the pond, so we had high hopes. Unfortunately the pond had been stirred up quite a bit by the ducks so had made the bottom quite muddy and gooey !
This made it very hard going.

Dave hauling himself out

Kev stuck !

Mick and team contemplating where to put the nets,  with 4 Cranes(use your imagination !) flying overhead having a look.

Several birds came in but luck wasn't on our side and we only caught 3 new Teal, we did have 2 Shelduck 'in' but they escaped before we could get to them , never mind !
Good birds were everywhere with at least 10 Marsh Harrier, Merlin, 2 Barn Owls, 3 Snipe and 4 Cranes being seen and good number of Bewicks and Whooper Swans flying overhead. Large numbers of Pinkfeet could be heard in the dark.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Not a lot doing !

Its rather quiet at the moment at our ringing sites !
Gary and I ventured to Ludham on Saturday 16th, we were later joined by Nathan, James and Amy.
Amy was telling us stories of a Stoat her dog had found and Nathan found a dead Weasel hanging half eaten in a Hawthorn on site.
 The site unfortunately has been plagued with Wood Pigeons, these seem to be able to eat our seed as fast as we can put it down. We must thank James again for his sterling efforts at feeding this site.
Only 5 Reed Bunting were caught 3 new and 2 retraps, these being originally ringed 21/01/12 and 24/11/12.

Drake Mallard

The second session of the weekend was at Hickling to catch Ducks. A crack team was assembled with Sharon, Mick,Tony, Gary and I.

The team, scary !

About 30 Mallard and 20 Teal approached the pond, but with 6 Mallard  'bouncing' the nets it wasn't going to be our night.
We eventually managed to catch 2 Mallard and a Teal, so all was not lost. 

Adult (6) Blue Tit with bleached primary tips.

An interesting Blue Tit was caught in the garden at Ormesby on Saturday 16th. This was a retrap and was in normal plumage when ringed but when retrapped had bleached primary tips, these being  more striking on the closed wing.
Adult (6) Blue Tit with bleached primary tips.