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

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas Exercise!!!

With the recent festivities out of the way and a need to get rid of a few calories we went to Caister (27th) for Snow Bunting.
We arrived just before light to set up, to a reasonable morning weather wise. We were joined by Jen for her first ringing trip.

Cracking Sunrise!

Gary and Tony have been feeding regularly in the last few weeks with the flock peeking at 61 mid month.
It was very quiet at first with only one bird turning up which preceded to gorge itself on the wheat.
Then birds began to appear until eventually there were about 45 in the area, by this time however the beach was getting quite popular.
We made a catch of 20 Snow Bunting; 13 new, 4 retraps and 3 Kessingland birds. The retraps were made up of 2 from this winter and  2 from 2011. 16 / 20 were Insulae race.
 A Golden Plover turned up and was heading for the wheat but unfortunately was chased off by a dog!
 A Shag was drying out on the sea defences before deciding to have a dip, 4 Brent Geese and 2 Red Throated Diver flew past with at least 40 Cormorant coming from roost to feed.

There has been a dearth of birds in the garden so far this Winter, nets were up for 4 hours yesterday and only 6 birds caught! However the day was brightened up by this happy fella.

1st winter male Great Spotted Woodpecker

He thought my finger was a bit of wood though, Ouch!!! 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

More Brambling.

Dave, Tony and I met at Ludham cover crop again on Sunday 16th December, with James and Amy joining us later.
This time we were using the whoosh net, we have been baiting for a couple of weeks now, this year we have it the other way round and a bit further down the hedge line, this was going to be a bit of trial and error.
Large numbers of Finch and Bunting continue to feed in this little oasis amongst the ploughed fields, unfortunately 500 Wood Pigeon have also found it to there liking! These are just grain machines hoovering up everything they can find.

1st Winter (3) male Brambling, 3 retained juvenile greater coverts can clearly be seen.

Adult (4) male Brambling. 

We had one "whoosh " and caught 13 birds all new, 12 were Brambling and 1 Reed Bunting. Other birds continued to turn up but unfortunately stayed in the hedge.
James and Amy arrived later to have a chat and give us the ups and downs of the Canaries and the ins and outs of Deer poo!

Now you see us!

Now you don't, well almost!

7 Whooper Swan flew over and about 10 Fieldfare were in the hedges nearby. 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

What a turn up !

A change of scenery was to be had early Sunday (2nd. December) morning, Dave and I headed north to meet Mick in the Sea Palling area. Snow Bunting were the target, with maybe some Turnstone as well.

The venue.

Mick and his associates have been baiting an area on the beach for a while now and the numbers of Snow Bunting have been building up, with about 30/40 in the area.
Recently 40/50 Turnstone have been seen feeding in the same area as well.
While setting the net up 40 or so Turnstone and a few Snow Bunts were waiting patiently for their breakfast.

One of the Snow Bunting.

The Turnstone were first on and 17 (all new) were soon caught, they were quickly extracted and the net reset.
Within a few minutes 27 Snow Bunts were in the area, with some going on the food. 19 were caught , all new and mostly Nivalis birds.

1st. Winter (3) Turnstone

Adult (4) Turnstone

 Turnstone wing patterns, adult above, 1st Winter below.

Sunday afternoon we ventured to Hickling for a Teal session, James has been feeding the pond as usual.
Teal numbers have been fluctuating quite a bit, what's there one day may not be there the next, however we thought to give it a go.
Unfortunately only about 10 Teal came in, we managed to catch 2 , both drakes, at least it's a start.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Bunting and Finch harvest

Several recce's at the Ludham cover crop recently have produced large numbers of Bunting and Finch feeding there.
At least 350 birds have been present with approximately 40+ Yellowhammer, 60+ Reed Bunting, 30+ Brambling , 60 Linnet and 100+ Chaffinch.
The first trip to ring was 24th November, we arrived early morning to frost, fog, virtually no wind and a temperature of 0.5 degrees C. 
An excellent morning was had with 107 new birds and (7) retraps being caught and processed.This included our biggest one day catch of Brambling.

Male Brambling

Adult Male Brambling

1st Winter Female Brambling

Wren 0 (1) ringed 19/11/11
Dunnock 5
Robin 5
Blackbird 2
Blue Tit  4 (1) ringed as an adult 19/11/11
Chaffinch 17
Brambling 19
Yellowhammer 26
Reed Bunting 26 (5)These included birds from 12/11/11, 02/01/12, 21/01/12, 04/02/12 and a control Y886919.
Also one each of Greenfinch, Lesser Redpoll and Song Thrush.

 Male Chaffinch

The second session was on 1st December, sadly it never lived up to expectations as only 13 new and 1 retrap were caught. This was mainly down to the windy, showery weather.

Blackbird 0 (1)  ringed as an adult on 11/02/12
Chaffinch 2
Yellowhammer 3
Reed Bunting  8

1st Winter male Yellowhammer  

Up to 30 Golden Plover were present on the first date and several skeins of Pinkfeet went over on both dates.