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

Saturday, 30 July 2011

House Martin 'RASing'

Over the last couple of weeks due to work commitments and the weather the only ringing we have managed has involved House Martins during some evenings.
Three sites have been visited, a new site at Hickling, with Horning Hall and Waxham being revisited for the second time this year.
The new site at Hickling involved 7 houses with an estimated 35 occupied nests, Dave had done the hard work and managed to get permission from all 7. 
21 new House Martins were caught together with a male House Sparrow that baled out of one of the nests.

Sharon explaining the niceties of flat flies!

At Horning Hall 19 were caught with 7 new and 12 retraps, these consisted of one from 2009 and 2010 and surprisingly one originally ringed on 31/07/2007.  This is our oldest House Martin to date.
Also the Barn Owl has produced 2 chicks, the Spot Fly is having a second brood in another box nearby and contains 3 eggs.
Also seen here on the river were 2 juvenile Bar Headed Geese! Soon to be a new feral species?

Juvenile House Martin.

The second trip of the year to Waxham Great Barn proved a success with 38 being caught, 29 of which were new and 16 of these being juveniles. 5 of the 9 retraps were last years' birds.
For a brief spell Sharon equalled the record of 6 being caught at once but was eventually beaten by Gary later on in the evening when he netted 7!

Sharon and her half dozen, Dave thinking I've got to get this lot out!

This brings the grand total so far this year of 125 new birds, 30 retraps and 1 control.

On a more serious note, is this what Gary and Kev get up to in their spare time? No wonder ringing has been slack the last few weeks. 

Perhaps Kate can enlighten us. 

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Recent update

We have been fairly busy recently checking Barn Owls and doing some more House Martins.
Also a couple of trips to the new Little Tern colony at Caister. 

Little Terns bred at Caister for the first time last year with 3 pairs present, this year with the fragmentation of the Gt. Yarmouth colony about 40 pairs have settled to breed. They are again being looked after by the RSPB, who must be congratulated on doing such a sterling job.

Little Tern nest

Two visits have been made with 23 pulli ringed on the first trip and 9 new with 14 retraps on the second trip.
The retraps are very important for the ongoing 'growth rate' in sea birds survey being carried out. Also on the second trip a young Ring Plover was picked up. The colony was doing well up to a few days ago but the local Kestrels have now found them to their liking.

Little Tern pulli

Two recent Little Tern recoveries have come to light, both birds being originally ringed at the Gt. Yarmouth colony as chicks.
The first ringed 24th July 1998 and recaught 4695 days and 454km later, on 1st June 2011 at Point of Ayre on the Isle of Man.
The second ringed 29th June 2001 and the ring read in the field! 3618 days and 208km later on 26th May 2011 at Den Helder, Netherlands.
It would be interesting to know whether they are breeding in their new locations. 

Barn Owl pulli

Most of the Barn Owls have now been checked with only a couple left to return to. They have not faired very well, a lack of prey being the obvious reason. Some sites started well but have then gone on to only produce one chick! Out of 60 odd sites checked , prey (a House Mouse ) has only been present at one site, most of the pellets have been on the small side, indicating a lack of prey.
14 Adults have been caught with 4 retraps, 2 controls and 8 new and 23 new pulli. The largest brood being 5 chicks. This is well down on previous years.

Adult female Nightjar

A recent excursion to Winterton with Nightjars in mind  produced an adult female being ringed, unfortunately the male 'bounced'! At least 2 pairs were present. Luckily the local midges decided to stay away!!

The House Martin RAS scheme continues with another 2 sites, Caldecott and Filby each producing 9 new birds, 10 occupied nest's were at each site. This brings the total up to 65 new birds, 9 retraps and a control so far this year.