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

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Winterton blues

With the fine weather of late and a few early migrants being recorded we thought we would have a change of scenery and give Winterton our first go this year. We arrived bright and early Saturday morning to open the nets, 8 x 60' and 1 x 50' were erected on Friday night.
The morning was cold (6.5 °C) and a light Easterly, however this strengthened through the morning to a moderate Easterly and started to rain steadily from 8.20 am. Luckily due to lack of birds and the weather we had already taken the nets down and missed out on a drenching!

Sharon, The Guvnor and Mr. Fix it with the 'logo bird '

13 new birds and 6 ( retraps ) were processed, with the first Chiffchaffs and Goldcrest of the year being ringed. At least 3 Chiff's were heard singing in the morning.

The ENRG logo !

WREN ; 1 (1 ) One originally ringed 14/09/08
DUNNOCK ; 0 (3)  One ringed 12/09/09 and another 21/04/07
LONG-TAILED TIT ; 0 (2) One from 19/09/09

Male Goldcrest

A Sunday afternoon stroll down Winterton Valley produced 2 Black Redstarts, 2 Goldcrest and a hunting Kestrel.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Garden hat-trick and more Linnets

The weekend started well with Mel ringing me on Friday while I was at work to say there was a Hawfinch in the garden ( at Ormesby St. Margaret) feeding on the seed in the whoosh net area !!!!! After a few expletives I calmed down and said are you sure, the answer was a positive yes. I should not have doubted her as we have had 2 in the garden before and Mel has seen and identified them on her own before I had seen them !
Luckily I managed to get home early and the net was hastily set, after about an hour's wait that seemed an eternity the Hawfinch turned up.  I had made earlier phone calls to the other members of the group to try and get some one over to ring it as I had done the last one, sadly no one could make it so I had to ring it myself !

Female Hawfinch

Female Hawfinch Tail

Unfortunately no full frame photo's were taken , the bird was very active and brutally inflicted pain with its large bill ! 
This is the hat-trick for the garden with a Female ringed in May 2000 and a Male ringed in June 2006.
Only another 5/6 years to the next one then boy's !
Also present in the garden was a male Reed Bunting, only the second ever seen and caught (rarer than the Hawfinch !). On Saturday a Female Brambling and 3 Siskins (first of the year ) were seen but not trapped.
Also seen on Saturday was a Brimstone butterfly.

A trip to Caister beach on Saturday morning produced another 17 Linnets with 15 new, 1 control and a retrap from last week.

Male Linnet, control L692066

Adult (4/6) type tail feathers.

The only other birds of note were 32 Red throated Diver flying North offshore.
Also we may have a clue to where some of the seed is going, there were several tracks in the sand leading to the food and from it, we followed one back which led to a hole in the dunes with half eaten seed near the entrance. Obviously the work of some Vole/mouse species.
Trail of the seed thief 
Been busy. 

Monday, 14 March 2011

Return of the Linnets

All but one of the Snow Buntings have gone North on their travels now, this has left the seed free for some Linnets to feed on. 19 were seen feeding the weekend before so we thought it was worth a go on Saturday.
We arrived at Caister for 5.45am, as we approached a Snow Bunting could be seen feeding on the seed.
The whoosh net was set and then we waited for the Linnets to arrive.

5M Linnet

5M Linnet, Red starting to come through.

5M Linnet , White (persil white) on the inner primaries nearly reaching the shaft.

1st Winter (male) Linnet tail feathers with the centre pair and right feather being replaced adult type.

21 were caught, all being new birds. 11 were Males and 10 Females with 4 adults and the rest 1st. Winter's (5).
There was probably another 10/15 in the area, they are hard to count as they don't fly around in one big flock, but arrive in 2's and 3's.

5F Linnet

5F Linnet, much more bolder streaked.

5F Linnet, less white (dull white) in wing not reaching the shaft.

1st. Winter Linnet (female) tail feathers, all juvenile.

The only other birds of note seen were 'squadrons' of Cormorants, at least 400 were seen flying from the West and landing on the sea.