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

Monday, 29 October 2012

Everything turns Rosie!

With the appalling weather forecast for Saturday and various members out of action, Winterton was postponed until Sunday. A look at the weather late Saturday afternoon didn't fill us with optimism so we decided to call it off. Yet again we made the wrong decision or so I thought, as Sunday (28th Oct) dawned with a cold but light NW.
I decided to put a couple of nets up in the garden at Ormesby as there were at least 25 Blackbirds coming in to the downfall apples.
On the first net visit a Blackbird and a Finch were in the net and duly extracted. When approaching the Finch it looked streaky and I thought to myself  'that it was a bit late for a juvenile Greenfinch', on inspection there was no green or yellow colours on the bird. Several species then ran through my head but I dismissed them all, it was either something good or some sought of hybrid.  It suddenly dawned on me that the only thing that fitted was a Common Rosefinch.
 Dave was called and I said the immortal words  'I've caught a bird and I am not totally sure of what it is, ' with this Dave was in his car and on the way round.  Several books later and with Dave seeing the bird, it was definitely a Common Rosefinch!  The first I had seen in the Autumn and in this Plumage, a few minutes later with Mel doing the Telephone calls Tony, Tina, Gary and John arrived to see the bird.

It was aged as a 1st Winter (3) and had a wing of 85mm and weighing 22.8g.  It flew off strongly when released and unfortunately has not been seen since.

Other birds caught were 9 Blackbird, 3 Goldfinch, Greenfinch, 2 Chaffinch, House Sparrow and surprisingly  a control Great Tit Y030700. 

Later on in the afternoon 2 Barn Owl sites were checked after tip offs from their owners to say something was going on in the nest boxes, both contained  a chick and both are second broods, these being successful earlier in the year.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The calm before the storm.

We arrived at Winterton on Saturday 20th Oct early morning to a dull,calm but pleasant day.There were a few Thrushes about early on but nothing compared to what happened later in the week when a major fall occurred on the East coast. Unfortunately for us 'workers' we can only go on a weekend, but a little further North from us Mick at Eccles and UEA ringing group at Waxham had excellent catches during the week.

It was another good catch of 45 birds with our best day tally of Meadow Pipits and the first Redwing of the Winter.

Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit 14
Robin 6 (1) an adult male ringed on 10/04/11
Blackbird 8
Song Thrush 2
Goldcrest 3
Blue Tit 1 (1)
Great Tit 2
Lesser Redpoll 2
Reed Bunting 2
One each of Wren, Redwing and Blackcap.

Song Thrush, continental type looking very Grey.

The bird of the day however was a very confiding Woodlark that was found feeding near to the net rides, it was present for over an hour giving exceptional views and was often heard doing a sub song while feeding.


There still seems to be a few Jays about in the woods, also a newly arrived Short eared Owl was hunting the dunes and the first Woodcock of the Winter was flushed.
Cranes were still very audible nearby and a Brambling flew over.

On Sunday an adult female Brambling was trapped and ringed in my Ormesby garden.

Female Brambling (Not my nail varnish I hasten to add !)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

One bird doesn't make an invasion.

As the weekend was upon us once more we were again at Winterton, Saturday dawned dry and dull but still with the persistent Westerly.
There were a few Thrushes about early on and the odd Jay calling in the woods, later on when doing a net round 12 Jays were seen coming in off the sea. There have been a lot of Jays arriving all along the East Anglian coast recently due to the failure of the acorn crop in Scandinavia  today was going to be the day! Sadly we only caught one, a first for the year, so not exactly an invasion, yet!

One of the invaders.

It seemed quiet again, apart from the Jays, but we had a respectable total of 102 birds with 92 being new to ring, Goldcrest being the most handled again, you can never get tired of these tiny waifs.

15/10/12 Winterton (retraps in brackets)

Meadow Pipit 8
Wren 12 (2)  one originally ringed 06/09/09 as a bird of that year.
Dunnock 2 (3) one from 12/09/09
Robin 4
Blackbird 5
Song Thrush 2
Blackcap 7
Chiffchaff 3
Goldcrest 16 (1)
Long-tailed Tit 8 (3) 2 from October 2011
Blue Tit 12
Great Tit 4 (1)
Lesser Redpoll 2
Reed Bunting 3
One each of Coal Tit, Jay,Chaffinch and Siskin.

3M Blackbird

Other birds seen were a flock of 14 Siskin and 5+ Redpoll, a Crossbill was heard flying over.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

More Westerlies

We met again at Winterton Saturday morning (6th Oct) the usual nets were erected, the winds were light but unfortunately still in the wrong quarter being Westerly. When we arrived it was raining, but Dave ever optimistic said it would stop by 7am, with which it duly did!
We didn't expect much, but surprisingly caught 48 new birds and a control.

3M Blackcap

Meadow Pipit ; 4
Wren ; 4
Dunnock ; 3
Robin ; 2
Blackcap ; 8, some of these were carrying high fat deposits, therefore they may have been here a while and now getting ready too move.
Chiffchaff ; 5 + 1 control, EPE425 Anyone?
Goldcrest ; 16
One each of Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch
Reed Bunting ; 2

3M Reed Bunting

There was no visible migration going on, and the only noteworthy sighting was 4 Cranes flying over calling loudly.

Small Copper

When the sun came out so did the insects, with at least 2 Small Coppers, 2 Comma and  25 Common Darters.

Comma and Flies feeding on Blackberries.  

Thursday, 4 October 2012

We are back!

After a few months off from blogging we are back at last!
It's been a roller coaster ride in the last few months since the last update, so many excuses we don't want to bore you to tears.
We did manage to carry on ringing with some successes, notably 353 Little Tern pulli ringed at Winterton over 3 Saturday's in July, with a massive help from the RSPB warden and his volunteers.
Also Barn Owl boxes were checked with varying success, about 50 Barn Owl pulli were ringed and several Jackdaw and Stock Dove.
The House Martin RAS started off well but with busy work loads and holidays getting in the way of the latter part of the season numbers dwindled, then when we could go the birds had upped sticks and gone! About 100 adults had been ringed up until then.
Most of September was taken up doing a Swallow roost at Martham, the roost varied from day to day and at it's peak contained at least 600 birds (see totals below).

3M Kingfisher

Martham roost ringing totals;
Greylag Goose 1
Kingfisher 4
Sand Martin 35
Swallow 686 , plus 7 controls.
Dunnock 1
Cettis Warbler 1
Sedge Warbler 4
Reed Warbler 22
Greenfinch 1
Reed Bunting 5

3 sessions at Winterton this Autumn have produced a few birds, the latest outing on 29th September saw 52 new birds being ringed with the first Lesser Redpolls and Meadow Pipits of the year being caught.

1st Winter (3) Lesser Redpoll

Winterton ringing total 29/09/12
Meadow pipit 6
Wren 5 +1 retrap
Reed Warbler 1
Blackcap 6
Chiffchaff 5
Goldcrest 20
Blue tit 4
Lesser Redpoll 5

3M Goldcrest

That's pretty much it for now,  hopefully we can catch some more birds and keep the blog updated, until next time ......