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

Thursday, 29 April 2010


A text message from John on Wednesday night alerted us of a Woodchat Shrike in Winterton Valley.
A superb bird seen hunting Bumble Bees, it was still present Thursday morning at least.

Record shot of Woodchat

In the garden a Turtle Dove was seen on Monday night and Wednesday morning but not since. A special bird at any time and a welcome change from the normal Collared Doves.
Several Jackdaw and Rooks are coming in now feeding in the whoosh net area.

6F Jackdaw

Also caught was this female Chaffinch with 'bumble' legs, She had a  brood patch so is doing ok and breeding in the area.

Female Chaffinch

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Blackcaps and Browncaps

Saturday 24th saw the whole group eventually meeting at Winterton at 5.30am or there abouts! Derek was again on his travels.
There was no frost forecast for the morning , so the nets were again erected the night before.
 The day did not start well with Arthur not hearing his alarm clock, not enough poles being brought and a distinct lack of birds about. Tony and Justin came to the rescue by felling a Birch to make another pole. Justin cut it down with a penknife saw and Tony then tidied it up using an axe, Ray Mears has nothing on us!

 Ray Mears impersonator

We had several visitors during the course of the morning, Ted popping in on his bike looking for Treecreepers  and Pete just having a look to see what was going on . Pete then went back along the dunes and later rang on his mobile saying a Red Kite had just flown over our heads, unfortunately we were not lucky enough to see it!
We did have a flyover Yellow Wagtail and caught  our first Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler of the year.

5F Whitethroat

4 Sedge Warbler

15 Birds were ringed and 10 retraps, all from 2010.
Ringing list, retraps in brackets;

Wren 1 (1)
Dunnock  (4)
Stonechat 1
Sedge Warbler 1
Whitethroat 1
Blackcap 11 (1 Control from Belgium)
Chiffchaff (2)
Long tailed Tit (2)

5M Stonechat

The morning will be remembered for a small fall of Blackcaps, with one bearing a Belgian ring, also one with pollen around its bill suggesting a movement from a warmer climate. The total number of Blackcaps present in all the woods at Winterton would be mind boggling.

'Sherbet Dip'

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Frost, Fog and Sunshine.

Saturday 17th April saw some of the group with Derek  (on a pass from Suffolk) at Winterton.
The nets were erected and furled the night before, this proved to be a bad move. When we arrived at 5.30am to open the nets we were greeted by frost and frozen nets with fog as well !
The nets were delicately opened , but with the zebra striped nets and the fog we could forget about catching much.

Frosty and Foggy start.

It took a couple of hour's before it thawed and the fog to lift , then it was wall to wall sunshine.

All very nice but not good for catching birds.

However we did manage to ring 22 new and get 7 retraps. With the 2nd. Cetti's for the site and the first Blackcaps of the year.

4F Cetti's Warbler

5M Blackcap

Ringing list, retraps in brackets;
Wren 2 (2) One originally ringed in 2008
Dunnock  (2) One from 2007 
Robin 1
Cetti's Warbler 1
Blackcap 3
Chiffchaff 5
Willow Warbler 3
Blue Tit 1
Great Tit 2 (1)
Treecreeper  (1)
Chaffinch 1
Goldfinch  (1)
Yellowhammer 1
Reed Bunting 2

5M Yellowhammer

5F and 5M Reed Bunting

At 10am with the temperature rising 9 Common Buzzard and a Female Marsh Harrier were seen circling above us. The Buzzards drifted off South and the Harrier went West.
Sevaral Brimstone and Peacock butterflies were seen, also a Common Lizard and Gary found a superb Adder skin.

Later on in the afternoon a shopping trip to Great Yarmouth had a slight detour to Bure Park to see a pair of Garganey that had taken up residence on the local park lake.

Male Garganey

Also at home the first Comma of the year was seen nectaring on a Berberis.
The Blackbirds have hatched and have 3 chicks and another one was found with the female on eggs.


Monday, 12 April 2010

Fame at Last

Arthur sent a report of  'our ' Little Tern to the local paper, The Great Yarmouth Mercury. It made page 3 ?! with colour photo's.The headline was nothing to do with us.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Last Time.

Saturday 10th April started with a depleted team arriving at Caister early morning for Linnets again.
It was a beautiful morning, plenty of sun and a cool light northerly blowing, with no rain forecast !!!
This will be the last time this Spring, so they can go about the duties quietly.
There had been a build up of more new birds during the week with at least 50 in the area.
The bird's were already feeding on the seed when we arrived and this made Dave mutter a few expletives under his breath!
We had another good catch getting 28 new and 3 retraps ( 2 from 2008 and 1 from 2 weeks ago).
The only interesting sightings here were of 2 Greylag Geese flying South offshore and Dave seeing a Sand Martin.

Later in the morning  at Arthur's garden the first pulli of the year were ringed, 3 Blackbird. Also news was recieved from Tony of a Mistle Thrush nest with 1 newly hatched chick and 3 eggs.

Meanwhile Mel and I went to Winterton so we could put up some tit boxes, in the northern woods, better late than never I suppose !

Mel getting her hands dirty !

Spring is definitely here now with at least 3 Chiff, 3 Blackcap and Willow Warbler all singing. A large Grass Snake was also seen.

A sign of Spring,  everybody  say aah !

Back at home yesterdays Blackcap continued to be seen on the lawn eating over ripe pears. It was joined briefly in the afternoon with a male Brambling!
Several butterflies were on the wing with at least 6 Peacock and 6 Small Tortoieshell seen.


Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Little Tern Recovery

We have just heard from the BTO about NW82383.
A Little Tern that was originally ringed as a chick at Gt.Yarmouth, North beach on 29th June 1995 and recovered at La Somone, Senegal on 13th April 2009, a duration of 5037 days (thats nearly 14 years) and a distance of 4560 km !
It was intentionally taken so hopefully is still going strong and may be on its way back to Norfolk now.
 I wonder how many miles its flown in its life time ? Birds are truly amazing!

Little Tern Pulli

Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter Eggs

The weather looked ok for mist netting at Winterton on Sunday morning, so the team arrived at 6am and erected 10 x 60' nets to give them an airing if nothing else !
The wind was light first thing, however with the sun coming up the wind freshened to a moderate NW and stopped anything moving.
  The first round produced mostly retraps from last year, so it was time to see if we could tally today's retraps with the original ringing data ! This was done with the usual debates.

The consultations begin!

We ended up with 27 new birds and 22 retraps, with the first Willow Warbler and Chiff's of the year being caught. The surprise was catching some Goldfinch,  a species we rarely catch here.

Two ends of the spectrum, Adult (6) Male and First Summer (5) Female

Species list for the session as follows, retraps in brackets ;

WREN  (2)  with one from 2008 
DUNNOCK  4 (4)
ROBIN  1 (3) one from 2006
BLACKBIRD  1 (2) one originally ringed in 2007 and also retrapped in 2008 and 09
CHIFFCHAFF 2 (1) ringed September 2009
BLUE TIT 1 (4)  one ringed as a chick in a nest box 23/05/2006

5 Male Chiffchaff

The retrap  Chiffchaff was originally ringed in September 2009 as a bird of the year (3).
 It poses an interesting question, is it a bird that has wintered here or has it  migrated south and already returned ? Answer's on a postcard please.

Willow Warbler

The only other interesting sighting was of a Treecreeper nest building  in a dead tree neaby.
On the subject of nests .........

Later on in the afternoon, at home, the annual Easter Egg Hunt was started.

A new species for the garden !

2 Blackbirds were found both with 4 eggs , so the first Nest records for 2010 have been started.
Lets hope for a good breeding season.


Friday, 2 April 2010

In the garden

The whoosh net was set in the garden this afternoon before the promised rain set in.
Not much about at the moment, with most things moving on now.
It did manage to catch another 2 Wood Pigeon and 2 smart looking Rooks.
Lets hope for some better weather soon, please !!!!


Linnets again.

It was down to the beach again this morning (Friday 2nd.) as a stiff SW was putting paid to any netting.
Only 4 Linnet and the first Wheatear of the spring were seen the previous evening. 
The net was set and about 25 Linnet were flying around sitting on the wire's.Soon a few started going down to investigate the seed.

Linnets 'massing' on the wires !

12 new birds were evenutally ringed, with some of the males looking smart in their breeding plumage.

Both 5Males

One for the ladies.

4 Gannets were seen offshore and 2 Fulmar flew over the beach and investigated the seed !!
Apart from that it was pretty grim.