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

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Haddiscoe round 2

The second session at Haddiscoe took place Friday 30th evening/Sat 31st. morning. Unfortunately the weather was against us with Friday night being a little too windy and Saturday morning having no wind but light showers through out.
61 birds were ringed and 8 re-trapped. 
Ringing totals, retraps in brackets;
Swallow 2
Sedge Warbler 21
Reed Warbler 31 (4) one from 2006, two from 2007 and another from 2009, all originally ringed at Haddiscoe.
Willow Warbler 1
Bearded Tit 2 (4) three from 2009 and one from last week
Linnet 1
Reed Bunting 3

3j Willow Warbler
Due to the weather nothing much was seen moving and the only insects were Brown Hawkers.  

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Haddiscoe reed bed

The forecast for Saturday morning was light winds, so with this in mind the first reed bed session of the year at Haddiscoe Island was planned. The usual 5 rides were cut  on Thursday night ready for Saturday.With the nets being erected on Friday night.

One of the net rides

As we drove down to the reed bed on Friday night a Weasel was seen running from a dyke across the road with prey in its mouth. It saw us and dropped the prey, so we went to investigate. To our surprise the prey was found to be a Water Rail chick!

Water Rail - meal

2 nets were left open,whilst we put the rest up, mainly to try and catch some Swallows.
In the end we caught 14 birds: 7 Swallow, 6 Reed Warbler ( one a control) and a Reed Bunting.

We woke at 3.45am Saturday morning to open the nets and were greeted to very light winds and mist all over the marsh.

Sunrise over Haddiscoe Island

After an hour or so the mist cleared, the wind kept light with some cloud cover all producing ideal ringing conditions. A couple of surprise captures in the reed bed were a Skylark (1st. for the site) and a Meadow Pipit .

Juvenile Skylark
Adult Female Meadow Pipit
Saturday morning produced;
Skylark 1
Meadow Pipit 1
Sedge Warbler 11
Reed Warbler 40 and 1 control and 4 retraps, 2 were originally ringed in 2007, 1 each from 2008 and 2009.
Bearded Tit 19 and 2 retraps both from 2009
Reed Bunting 12.
A very good start to the reed bed season with Friday night/Saturday morning producing 97 new birds, 2 controls and 6 retraps ( All the retraps were originally ringed at Haddiscoe). Most of the Reed Warblers were adults.

Adult female and 3J female Bearded Tit
Adult Male Bearded Tit
3J Male Bearded Tit
Adult Sedge Warbler, note the overall wear on the bird.
3J Sedge Warbler.

A Quail was heard 'singing' in nearby fields, 2 Crane were seen and heard calling overhead , a Hobby flying past and several Little Egrets and Marsh Harriers were on view.
Numerous Brown Hawkers and Black tailed skimmers were seen.

Brown Hawker
Black tailed Skimmer

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Too Windy again

Saturday morning dawned with a strong SW wind, making it far too windy for any mist netting. The afternoon was still windy but quite pleasant with the temperature approaching 20 degrees C.
So I decided to have a walk at Winterton North Dunes to see how the breeding Stonechats were getting on.
Unfortunately the bird life was pretty sparse with only 2 Yellowhammer singing, the pair of Stonechats doing nothing, several young Chiffs and a vocal Green Woodpecker being all I could muster.
However the Butterflies and Dragonflies made up for this with a superb Dark Green Fritillary being the highlight.

Dark Green Fritillary

Other Butterfly species seen were; Small and Large Skippers,Small Heath, Small Copper, Gate Keeper,
Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and lots of Large Whites.
Small Skipper
Large Skipper

Dragonflies seen ; Emperor, Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Ruddy Darter,Black tailed Skimmer, Common Darter, Blue tailed, Common blue and Emerald Damselflies.

Emerald Damselfly

Migrant Hawker

Numerous Cinnabar Caterpillars were feeding on the ragwort.

More House Martins

We just found another site that has breeding House Martin, 34 occupied nests were noted. 4 nets were deployed  on the evening of Friday 16th.

The new site.
31 adults and 3 juveniles were ringed, all new, with Tony slightly edging the honours. Not to be out done in the future, at the end of the session Gary trod on Tony's net and flattened it!!!!
 All the nets are in need of repair with several holes appearing.
Thanks to Peter for the permission at a fantastic site. 

3J House Martin

Friday, 9 July 2010

House Martins

On Thursday night we had a trip to Horning Hall, mainly to catch House Martins.When we arrived we were greeted by the magnificent sight of at least 50 birds flying around the house. Four nets were used with Gary's super efficient net coming out of top catching 13 birds !

The 'special one' 
Tony and the old style net

25 birds were caught in total, all adults bar one juvenile.  20 were new and 5 retraps. Four of the retraps were initially ringed on 13/07/2009 with 3 being adults and one juvenile. The other retrap was first ringed as an adult on 12/07/2007 and again retrapped on 21/07/09 !

One of the adults.
'Hairy legs'

The Barn Owl that had 4 eggs 3 weeks ago was checked again and has 3 chicks now. Unfortunately the Swallow nests have all been predated at chick stage with the Owl being the main suspect.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Barn Owls and Kestrels

We are still checking Barn Owls boxes, about half being occupied so far,the rest mostly having Stock Doves in.They vary from having large to small chicks and some even still on eggs. Most seem to be doing quite well with still more to check . The largest brood being 4 so far, the rest 2's and 3's.

Looking fit and healthy.

As always ringing Barn Owls is a great PR exercise. All the farmers/land owners are very proud of 'their
Owls and are very keen to come and see them as well as finding out whats going on around them.

The Kestrel nest was revisited from a few weeks ago and resulted in 3 young being ringed with one egg unhatched.

The young Kestrels in their tree cavity.
One of the ringed chicks. 

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Captain Beaky survives !

A return visit to the Avocet 'colony' produced the same chick as before a bit bigger and hopefully a lot wiser, unfortunately all the other nest's bar one have disappeared, there can't be much hope for this nest either. 

The lone survivor

While searching the area Kev nearly had a 'heart attack' when a Tufted Duck exploded from the vegetation nearby. This resulted in the nest being found containing 9 eggs.

Tufted Duck nest

Through the course of the morning some Mute Swans were caught, 3 new, 2 retraps and 2 cygnets, too small to ring.We don't ring that many Swans as the rings are too expensive! The retraps were both from last year.

Sharon and the Guvnor contemplating Sunday roast.
The two cygnets wondering what life is all about.

We then had a surprise when we visited a Barn Owl box, 2 newly hatched chicks were inside and  a larder consisting of 5 Field Voles and 2 Shrews !  Quite a cache.

The banquet.

One of  the Shrews. 

The second Barn Owl box visited contained a  Stock Doves' nest with 1 egg.  On leaving the box Sharon picked up a superb Emperor Moth caterpillar. Several Blue tailed Damselflies and a few Brown Hawkers were also on the wing.

Emperor Moth