Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Student visit

Today with the wet start was hardly an inducement to conduct a ringing session. It was agreed to start an hour later and we were lucky to enjoy the best weather for several days. This session was important to the Group as we were hosting students from the University Centre Reaseheath, Cheshire. The Ringing Group had been approached to enable them to have an "hands on" experience as part of their ecology and environmental modules.

We were really pleased they found the session informative and enjoyable. They had practicable experience in identification, ringing, and taking biometrics of 28 birds of ten species. The care that is needed to identify the sex of Reed Buntings during the winter and early spring was drawn to their attention. So a very pleasing moment for the Group which has now hosted two groups within nine days.

A happy student group

A pair of Reed Buntings caught together (male on the right)
Photographs Mike Tyler 

Thursday, 29 March 2018

New Year start

Whenever the Group wished to get 2018 ringing sessions underway it was prevented due to dreadful weather. Anyway two sessions did get underway resulting in 44 birds being caught. The last session on Monday 26th March saw a retrap male Sparrowhawk which was originally ringed on 7th November 2016 as an adult. (See photographs)

That day was also special for the Group which acted as host to a group of members of the North Somerset Birding Group.

Photographs by Mike Tyler

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Session cancellation

Please note due to rain in the morning the session for 9th March is cancelled. Sorry about that.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

2018 ringing sessions

Please note that mist netting sessions will commence in February and our 2018 programme will listed soon.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

End of year duck catch

At daybreak today 16 hardy souls met on Seaton Marshes to attempt a catch of duck, including our project species, the Shelduck. The catch was relatively small for a cannon net catch, which was as well with a small team of volunteers. Despite the frosty conditions seven Shelduck, all of the species on the lagoon, six Mallard and eleven Wigeon were caught. This was the first catch on our former site for over two years and that is thanks to the Countryside Team, East Devon District Council reviving the habitat for duck. This session concluded our duck research for the year.

A fine male Shelduck (Photo Allan Reese)

Releasing of a Shelduck (Photo Allan Reese)

The magnificent head of a male Wigeon (Photo Mike Tyler)

Measuring head and bill of a female Mallard (Photo Allan Reese)

The team with cannons right in the foreground (Photo Allan Reese)

Thursday, 21 December 2017

End of year mist netting session.

Monday this week was the last mist netting session of the year and resulted in a smaller haul than usual, but perhaps it was as well as we had a small team that morning. Nevertheless 32 birds were caught including another Redwing as it flew across the marsh. A few Chiffchaffs, together with their travelling companions Goldcrest, were caught at the same time. Hopefully we will be able to proceed with a duck catch between Christmas and the New Year.

To our followers and supporters have a wonderful Christmas from the Axe Estuary Ringing Group.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

New species catch for Group

The calm overcast mild conditions were ideal today for the Group to carry out some ringing on Seaton Marshes. In fact 58 birds of 16 species were caught, not so high as normal, but very varied and with two highlights. The first surprise was a Lesser Redpoll a first for the Group and a lovely first year bird. Although not unusual for the time of the year, but less likely to be seen on marshes ,was a our first Redwing of the winter. 

Of the other species six Cetti's Warbler were in the catch of which included five retraps. The mild winters and ideal habitat have enabled this species to colonise the Seaton Wetlands in the last few years and will form part of a special study by the Group in 2018. Twelve Reed Bunting were caught at the crack of dawn as they left their roost. 

The final session of the year will be just before Christmas.

Adult Redwing 

Inquisitive first year  Lesser Redpoll

Male Reed Bunting in winter plumage

(Above three photographs by Mike Tyler)

Our Lesser Redpoll in a different pose

(Photograph Sue Murphy)