Tuesday, 22 November 2016

First winter catch

Following severe storms and heavy rain the chance to catch and ring birds has been almost impossible. There was a small break today, coinciding with our programme and the session proceeded. Not bad a morning taking into account the bad weather of the last few days. Sixty four birds of 15 species were caught, including a Dusky Warbler at least according to the plumage. Other species included, Blackcap, nine Chiffchaffs, a Cetti's Warbler, Kingfisher and eleven Goldfinches.

Cetti's Warbler

Probable Dusky Warbler

Chiffchaff being released

All photographs copyright Doug Rudge

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Last of the autumn wader catches

November can be a bit late to catch waders on migration, together with only a few on site last evening proved to be so. Nevertheless, we were not entirely disappointed with the only wader, that of a Jack Snipe. A very attractive adult as the photographs show.

Photo Allan Reese

Photo Allan Reese

Photo Mike Tyler

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Autumn sessions

The Group have had two sessions this month with the view of catching the last of the migrant warblers and perhaps some early thrushes. Today five Song Thrushes were caught more than the usual number, so perhaps that is a good sign. Over the two sessions we processed 24 Chiffchaffs and 8 Blackcaps as well as a Cetti's Warbler one of many this year. It appears the population is increasing after a drop a few years ago. In all 108 birds were caught in two mornings.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Stormy session

This morning started clear and sunny an ideal condition for a good morning's ringing. Alas after less than storms started to brew from the east and activities soon came to an end. Seeing the conditions about to change birds were quickly extracted and nets furled. Nevertheless not all was lost in that we were able to catch 58 birds of 17 species, so not too bad.

A common Woodpigeon  given the limelight!

Cetti's Warbler one of two caught
(Photographs Mike Tyler)

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A successful start to the autumn

This last weekend has been one of the most successful of the Group with ringing taking place on Saturday to Monday at three locations. The first two were on the Seaton Wetlands in the area of the Discovery Hut and on Colyford Common. A wide habitat of reed, scrub and hedgerow produced a good variety of birds. Saturday produced the bulk of birds, 79 in total, comprising of 14 Goldfinches, six Chiffchaffs, five Sedge Warblers, one Reed Warbler, four Willow Warblers, one Grasshopper Warbler, two Swallows, one Lesser Whitethroat, six Great Tits, eight Blue Tits, 24 Greenfinches, six Wrens, and one Goldcrest. The Grasshopper Warbler being the highlight of the morning. (See photo)

There were fewer birds on the Sunday, but a respectable  36 of 14 species. The additional species were ten Reed Warblers, one Cetti's Warbler, one Kingfisher, one House Martin as well as three Blackbirds and Robins and one Coal Tit. Chiffchaffs, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Swallows, Sedge Warblers, Wrens and a Reed Bunting making up the total for the morning.

Being a diverse ringing group, on the Monday evening well into dark, a catch of roosting waders was made on Colyford Marsh. Twenty-four waders comprising of one Lapwing, one Curlew, originally ringed by the Group at the site on 9th October 2013, one Whimbrel, two Green Sandpipers, three Redshank and 16 Dunlin. The reasonable number of Dunlin gave the members present an ideal opportunity to compare adult and juvenile birds. (See photo)  The Group have arrange for two further sessions to catch waders this year.

A total of 139 birds of 26 species.

Grasshopper Warbler (Rob Skinner)


Lesser Whitethroat (Tom Gale) 

Whimbrel (Allan Reese)

Curlew (Mike Tyler)


Lapwing (Mike Tyler) 

Dunlins juvenile on the left compared with an adult (Mike Tyler)

Friday, 26 August 2016

Interesting catch

The Group operated at a part of the Seaton Wetlands it rarely attends, but the weather was ideal with cloud and little wind and with information acquired earlier that many birds were migrating along the coast helped with the decision where to set nets. The site has always been a challenge, but generally fruitful in the number of birds caught. Yesterday was no exception with a total of 100 birds of 20 species caught. The star of the morning was a Tree Pipit caught cunningly with the use of a tape lure. It was known there were a few in the vicinity so we were in with a chance. The list for the morning was:

Chaffinch 1; Reed Warbler 13; Blackcap 2; Dunnock 2; Sedge Warbler 6; Blackbird 2; Wren 4; Robin 6; Great Tit 5; Chiffchaff 2; Swallow 26; Reed Bunting 2; House Martin 1; Goldfinch 9; House Sparrow 7; Greenfinch 5; Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Pied Wagtail 1; Tree Pipit 1; Linnet 1; Blue Tit 3.

Sedge Warbler
Star bird - Tree Pipit
Using biometrics to confirm identification of the Tree Pipit

Photos Mike Tyler









Sunday, 14 August 2016

Weekend ringing session

This weekend was the second of the Group's summer programme and resulted in 101 birds being processed. Many migrants had high fat scores suggesting there were many passing through. As one would expect the majority were juveniles, including 14 Chiffchaffs. Several Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Sedge and Reed Warblers were among them. Below are two excellent photographs taken by our member Brendan Sheils of Kingfishers caught during the session.

Our early autumn weekend session is programmed for 3rd and 4th September.