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

Sunday, 30 May 2010

More boxes

Saturday 29th, Turned out windy and showers were forecast, luckily these did not materialise until mid day. 
 We continue checking boxes and revisiting the ones that need ringing. More Blue and Great Tit pulli were ringed.

Blue Tit pulli

 Some Tawny boxes have Jackdaws in so these were ringed as well.

See no evil, Speak no evil, Hear no evil !

A Whitethroat nest was found during the week with small young, this was revisited to ring the 5 chicks. Another Whitethroat was found  at Caister today (Sunday) containing 4 eggs.

Whitethroat pulli

While checking a Little Owl Box, Gary had the surprise find of a Kestrel nest with 4 eggs. We had put up a ladder to check the box, Gary went up checked it then on the way down a Kestrel flew out of a cavity in the Oak tree which the ladder was across. I'm not sure who was more startled, the bird or Gary !


A dead Male Muntjac was found in the under growth at Repps, It was a bit whiffy but some photo's were taken, quickly !

I think he has seen better days. 

Several Red eyed , Blue tailed and Azure Damselflies were seen in the dykes at Repps.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Barton Turf Demo

Sunday 23rd  had the group meeting at Barton Turf for a ringing demo. It was a joint venture with the Broads Authority and Norfolk Wildlife Trust and billed as a Go Wild Day Out. We arrived at 8am to find we were far too early as it was not open to the public until 11am!
Creative thinking time.

The nets were eventually erected and furled ready to be opened in time for the public to arrive.
With soaring temperatures it was never going to be easy, how ever we did catch enough birds to keep ticking over.
Arthur and Justin  in mid flow
Dave with a captive audience

One of the star's
Thanks must go to the Broads Authority and NWT for inviting us, Holly for the lunch, the drink ladies for keeping us topped up in the searing temperatures and finally Mel for the photo's and back room help.

Tit Fest......

Over the last couple of weeks we have been out checking the tit boxes, some sites have done very well and others not. 
Most of the boxes at Rollesby have been predated, with the young all taken, possibly by a Weasel or Grey Squirrel. The season seems to be quite protracted with boxes ringed a week ago now on the wing and others still to ring with very small young.
One box contained a couple of dead pulli that were being 'processed' by these Burying Beetles

One of the lucky ones so far !
The Tawny Owls were revisited, they seem to be struggling as well. A brood of 3 is now 2 and the couple of broods that contained 2 now have 1 in each. One box contained a half eaten Mole, this was the only prey item we found in any of the boxes and not an ideal one at that.

Mother and child
Proud ' Father'
At Haddiscoe and Horning Lapwing broods were ringed, another species that seems to be dwindling in our area.On the plus side at Horning about 20 pairs of House Martin are nesting, a superb sight.
We did check one Barn Owl box, last year this had Little Owl's which bred successfully raising 3 young. This year it has Barnies  back, the female was ringed and 3 small young were in the box, these are finding more prey than the Tawnies as 3 juicy Field Voles lay in the box ready for dinner.

Female Barn Owl

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Nest Boxes

Saturday 15th saw the group on there annual Tit box visits.
Tooled up and,ready for action

 5 different areas were checked with 23 boxes being occupied, 7 Great Tit and 16 Blue Tit. This is about half of our boxes, more to check soon.

Tit habitat

Another Tit location

Most of the boxes contained newly hatched chicks or eggs, so there was not a lot of birds ringed.
GREAT TIT; 9 Pulli, 3 new adults and a retrap from Dec/09.
BLUE TIT; 1 new adult and a retrap from May/08.
Some of the boxes are in need of repair after being 'peckered', All will have to be checked again in a weeks time to ring the chicks.

'Peckered box'

One box contained some sought of Mouse nest, the occupants were not at home and another contained a Solitary Wasp nest.
Wasp nest on underside of the roof.

On the journey round Dave had a Red Kite flying NW over Winterton. A Crane was seen circling over head and 2 cuckoo's were seen.
Several Orange Tips, Speckled Woods , Large Red Damselfly's and a Hairy Hawker were observed.
 Also a superb micro moth, Adela Reaumurella.

Large Red Damselfly

Adela Reaumurella

The evening before 3 Chaffinch pulli were ringed at Ormesby.

Chaffinch pulli

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Rain stops play

The weather forecast for Saturday was absolutely awful, heavy showers and strong NE winds. 
No good for mist netting or the breeding season.
We had a trek over to Haddiscoe to see if there were any Lapwing about, lucky for us we could stay in the car and watch from there, not so good for the birds.
In between the showers we saw several sitting Lapwing but no chicks, they are later than normal.
 Dave spotted a pair of Mipits carrying food and soon found the nest with 4 pulli that were duly ringed.

Meadow Pipit pulli doing there best to hide.

Sightings included several Whimbrel, Little Egrets, Wheatear and a smart male Yellow Wagtail. 
There were also lots of Hares about, some still boxing and looking bedraggled in the rain. 
Even the cattle looked fed up !

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

A trip to Lound Lakes

This Wednesday saw the group return to the Lound Lakes nature reserve to give the yearly ringing demonstration as part of the annual dawn chorus event held by the Broads Authority in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water. Our trainee Justin has recently been appointed in the post of Conservation Hydrology Officer and being the site warden at Lound Lakes was particularly keen to see what birds were caught. After leading the dawn chorus walk he eventually arrived at base camp with 21 visitors and immediately jumped into help with the ringing as Tony and Gary returned across the boardwalk with the results of a bumper net round.

A crowd gathers

They were hoping for blood!

At the end of the session 27 birds were ringed and 5 retraps processed including a pair of coal tits that were ringed at the same demonstration in 2008. Our many visitors left feeling privileged at their close encounters with some of Britain's well known bird species.

Ringing list, retraps in brackets

Great Spotted Woodpecker 1

Wren 4

Dunnock 2

Robin 1

Reed Warbler 1

Whitethroat 2

Blackcap 3

Long-tailed Tit 2

Coal Tit (2) both ringed 04/05/2008

Blue Tit 4

Great Tit 4 (3) all ringed 04/05/2008

Chaffinch 2

Reed Bunting 1

First reed warbler ringed for the site

And still she sits tight after all the goings on.

Monday, 3 May 2010

More Tawny Owls

One of the Owl Boxes

Monday 3rd May saw us doing the rounds and checking some more Owl boxes. This resulted in 2 broods of 2 and 2 broods of 3 being found, one brood of 3 being ready to ring. The other broods were about 6/7 day's old.

Cute Tawnies
The ringed brood averaged about the same size as the one's on Saturday, fortunately the land owner and his daughter were able to attend the ringing and were delighted to see the chicks.
Gary's camera was again deployed with great effect.

On the journey 6 Red Deer  crossed the road in front of us, 2 of them being young stags in 'velvet'.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Annual Martham reunion

Nets were erected on Friday night at Martham ready for Saturday morning so there was no excuse not to turn up.
The group met at 5.30 am to be greeted by a heavy shower, so we sat it out in the cars for half an hour. Then it was bright sunshine and a light NW. This site is mostly mature woodland with scrub in places, we only net it at most, twice a year and this was the first visit since May 2009.

All set up and ready for action !
When the sun came out it was a 'bootiful' day with Speckled Woods flitting about and the first Large Red Damselfly seen, Swifts flying overhead and a Cuckoo was giving it the big'un!

Speckled Wood

A good selection of birds were ringed with the first Bullfinch and Tawny Owl's of the year.
42 new with 2 pulli and 4 retraps were processed.
Ringing list, retraps in brackets,
Tawny Owl 2 (pulli)
Wren 6
Dunnock 2
Robin 4
Blackbird 1 (1) ringed 28/04/07
Sedge Warbler 2
Whitethroat 1 (2) one ringed 02/06/2007 and the other 04/05/2009
Blackcap 6
Chiffchaff 2
Willow Warbler 3
Long-tailed Tit 5
Marsh Tit 2
Great Tit 3 (1) a bird originally ringed in 2008 at Tony's garden
Bullfinch 3

5M Bullfinch

6F Bullfinch
5M Marsh Tit

Gary or should I say inspector gadget, has built a camera on a pole to view nests and box contents. This has cheered our human 'Chimp', Tony, up no end as he no longer needs to climb the trees to find nothing there!
We tried it out on a Wood Pigeons nest, Tawny Owl box and several other contenders and it worked very well.

Gary and his telescopic camera

The resultant picture of nest and contents.

The first Owl box checked this year contained 2 Tawny chicks with FM so were ready to ring. One of the adults was seen nearby the night before. This was a good result as the box was replaced this year and you never know whether they will like the new one.

Tawny Owl pulli

On the way home we went to Tony's and ringed 2 Collared Dove and 5 Robin pulli which rounded of a good days ringing.

Collared Dove pulli

Not so cute at this age!  Robin pulli

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Better Than Work

On Sunday/ Monday we had a lot of Wheatears moving through our area ( 51 reported) and a few Ring Ousel. So on Tuesday I made the great sacrafice and took time off work to try and catch a few. Unfortunately the Ring Ousels had moved on but I managed to trap 3 Wheatears, the only 3 I saw ( 100% catch rate, how good is that?) With wings of 108mm (Male) & 100mm (Female) made them the more striking Greenland race, very good birds to catch. I must make an effort to take more time off work!