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

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

More yellow snow

More Yellowhammers were on the menu when we revisited the cover crop at Ludham.
James and Gary have been doing a sterling job in keeping the seed topped up, the ravenous hordes of Wood Pigeons have been taking their toll!
At least 50 Hammers and the same amount of Reed Bunting are still in the area, a few Linnets are still about as well.
21st January dawned and was very windy, we also had to batten down the hatches when a rain squall hit and made a dash for the cars. Luckily we had a wind-break that gave us some limited cover.

Not much cover here !

Considering the conditions we were able to catch 17 new and 1 retrap.
Chaffinch 2, Yellowhammer 7 and Reed Bunting 9 including a retrap from a couple of weeks previous.

On 28th January we arrived at Caister pre dawn, the weather for once was quite favourable with a light NE but quite chilly with no frost.
The Snow Bunt's had not been seen for a while but the seed had been disappearing fast, so we assumed there was still a few about. During the morning about 120 were seen, we managed to catch 46, they were playing very hard to get.
Of the 46, 19 were new, 7 colour ringed and 20 retraps (19 from this Winter and one originally ringed 27/11/2010). Most were 1st Winters with only 4 being adults and 37 were of the Nivalis race. 
The colour ringed birds were made up of 4 originally ringed at Kessingland, Suffolk and the other 3 originally ringed at Caister  then colour ringed on their travels to Suffolk.

Of note 2 colour ringed birds were reported at Salthouse, Norfolk on 25/01/2012, one from Caister and the other Kessingland. Thanks to Colin again for his colour ring project, it seems to be paying dividends now.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

New homes

Recently we have spent some time in providing some new homes for Barn Owls. We have also took a couple down as one had not been used at all since erecting it and the other one was in a building that is to be demolished this year.
All boxes have been expertly built by Gary, our chief carpenter and gadget man.Some have been in tree's and are always a challenge to erect !

Gary, where he likes to be, up a tree !

Another recent erection has been in  barn to replace an old box that has been attracting Jackdaws in recent years. The old box has been left up and the new one erected nearby. there are Barnies present in the area so hopefully this will entice them to stay and breed.

The new box left and old'n right.

We have an exciting gadget for this box.Gary has developed an infra red camera which is located inside the box and with the aid of a cable running to the outside of the barn we can attach a LCD screen and view the contents without causing any disturbance.

Dave and Gary deploying the screen.

Hopefully we can look forward to a decent Barn Owl season this year, the last 2 or 3 have been very disappointing for one reason or another. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Yellow snow.

Snow Buntings at Caister were again the target on Christmas Eve.
There had been counts of 80/90 birds coming the the seed and quite a few seemed to be new birds.
They were being very cagey but we eventually managed to catch 21 birds, 12 new, 7 retraps and 2 from Kessingland, Suffolk.
The 6 of the retraps were birds that had been originally ringed by us at Caister in November but in the mean time had gone to Kessingland and been caught there on 22/12/2011 by Colin who had then colour ringed them, then returning to Caister on 24/12/2011. So there seems to be plenty of movement between the 2 sites.
A high percentage of the catch were again Nivalis birds.

One of the colour ringed birds , HP

All the Snow Buntings caught at Kessingland are being colour ringed as part of Colin Carters project, please report any sightings to the BTO colour ring scheme. They all have a BTO metal ring on the left leg and a Yellow colour ring on the right leg with 2 digits, either numerical or alphabetical. 

Male Yellowhammer

The new year started with the group ringing at the Ludham cover crop again on the 2nd.
The Yellowhammer numbers have been fluctuating drastically over the last few days, but Reed Buntings seem to be increasing.
James had been keeping and eye on them and kept the food topped up, Dave had also been checking to see if it was worth having a catch. About 30 Reed Bunting and 20 Yellowhammer had been seen in the area.

Male Reed Bunting

8 new Yellowhammer, 16 new Reed Bunting plus 4 retraps and a Chaffinch were caught.
The retrap Reed Bunting were 2 from 19/11/2011, 1 from 12/11 2011 and the other originally ringed 14/02/2009 , all from the same site.

The morning proved to be quite a raptor fest with Little Owl calling when we first arrived and Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and a pair of Kestrels hunting nearby.
Also about 15 Whooper Swan were seen flying over Ludham airfield.