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

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snow Buntings revisited

At last some more Snow Buntings have turned up at Caister, we have had some ups and downs  this year so far. The 'flock' had been fluctuating quite a bit with 20/30 birds seen on occasions and at other times nothing at all! The seed has been deliberately covered over for what reason we can only guess at, this saw the birds move off to other areas. 
Then with the colder weather moving in  more birds began to arrive, Gary went down Wednesday and saw about 40 birds, followed by Tony on Friday who had at least 60 birds in the area, the wheat is definitely taking a bashing at the moment, thanks must go to David for supplying this.

Caister beach on a cold Winters day

So with all this in mind a trip was planned for Saturday morning, we arrived at 6.15am and started to question why we had left our cosy warm beds for a screaming NE, temperatures of 2 degrees C (the wind chill made it much colder than this) and Snow showers.

The huddle trying to keep warm, Dave sporting his Mexican moustache!

With the net malfunctioning a couple of times we still managed an excellent catch, catching 69 new, 1 retrap and 1 control all Snow Buntings. The retrap was from the last session and the control is a colour ringed bird from Kessingland, Suffolk.
The 'normal', a 3F Insulae Snow Bunting

Adult male (top) and 1st.Winter male Nivalis race

The 71 birds were made up of 68 1st Winters, 56 were Females, with 40 being Insulae, 23 Nivalis and 8 un-raced. 1st Winter female Insulae birds being the norm.
About another 20 birds were seen during the morning, so there could well be a 100 birds about in the area.

Afterwards a quick trip to Rollesby saw Sharon extend her ringing knowledge to another species, Coot.
This was the only bird caught as the adverse weather settled in and the net was hastily taken down in a blizzard!

With the garden not being seen in daylight for a couple of weeks due to work commitments! 3 nets were erected Sunday afternoon in anticipation, this resulted in 31 new birds and 5 retraps being caught.

Gt. Spotted Woodpecker;  2
Blackbird; 8  (2) one originally ringed 03/02/07 the other 08/11/08
Long-tailed Tit; 13  (3) one from 21/10/06  and 02/11/08
Blue Tit; 1
House Sparrow; 3
Greenfinch; 2 one with a deformed bill.
Goldfinch; 2 
Adult Greenfinch with deformed bill.

Also in the garden on Friday night as the ringing gear was being loaded a Woodcock was seen on the back lawn. A net was gathered and the bird was quickly caught, a first for the garden.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Santa's surprise

We have been baiting the whoosh net area at Caister beach now for 3/4 weeks with no results until this week, then the Snow Bunting started to turn up, 10 were reported on Wednesday, then Tony had a look on Friday to find 36 and a Lapland Bunting feeding on the seed.
Saturday morning dawned with us setting the net on the beach at 5.45am ready for first light. 

Caister beach early morning

It wasn't long before the first Snow Bunting turned up, 3 were seen in the half light in the trapping area, these were caught and the net hastily reset. Within 10 mins some more arrived and settled straight into the trapping area, the net was released for the second time and another 17 were caught alongside the Lapland Bunting. Another 10 were flying about but never came down.

All the way from Santa's land !
1st. Winter Tail Feathers
1st. Winter Lapland Bunting

20 Snow Bunting were caught, 18 new and 2 retraps, one originally ringed 28/12/2009 the other 13/02/2010.
10 were of the Nivalis race ,5 Insulae race and 5 intermediates.The Nivalis birds were a surprise as we don't normally catch many of this race.
One bird was an absolute stunner, being an adult male 'nivalis' bird, a  scarce occurrence for us.Normally most birds are 1st. Winter Females of the Insulae race.

Adult Male 'Nivalis' Snow Bunting

Later in the afternoon another visit to Hickling for Ducks was planned. We arrived and erected the nets in calm dry conditions, within 10 mins of finishing the nets a large black cloud came over us and the heavens opened for the next hour and a half !!!

Looking a tad dejected !!!!!!!

We saw the evening out in the rain, about 30 Teal and 10 Mallard were flying around but very few tried to land. No birds were caught as they could see the rain hanging on the nets, as we packed up the rain stopped !
Sods law !!!!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Migrants gone

We visited Winterton again Sunday (31st.) morning with the hope of more crests and thrushes.
It proved to be very quiet, if it wasn't for the feeders relatively few birds would have been caught.
Because the clocks were going back that morning Dave ordered everyone to leave their clocks on the old time so there was no confusion ! I think this had the reverse effect. However everyone apart from me turned up at the right time, I did have a valid excuse !?

One of the better birds attracted to the feeders !

30 new birds and 19 retraps (in brackets) were processed ;
WREN 1 (1)
ROBIN 1 (1)
BLUE TIT 9 (7) One from Sept. 2009
GREAT TIT 2 (5) One originally ringed 28/10/2006

Later in the afternoon a much needed shopping trip !! was planned to Gt. Yarmouth, so the opportunity was taken to go and see the Waxwings that had been present for a few day's. About 40 were seen but were very flighty in the wind and rain.

Little Stunner's !