Tuesday, 19 November 2019

First winter visitors

Today the Group were lucky to find a day of weather ideal for mist netting. Little wind, dry and cloudy. It resulted in 64 birds being caught and processed of 15 species. Over wintering Chiffchaffs as well as two Redwings being the Group's first winter visitors, apart from the Chiffchaffs. A female Sparrowhawk was caught no doubt in the area looking for a meal with the high number of passerines. Two Cetti's Warblers were also caught hoping a mild winter will help to increase the survival rate of breeding next year.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Late autumn catch

Yesterday with a fine break in the wet and windy weather of late allowed the Group to carry out a late autumn catch. A high number of members attended no doubt to to enjoy the dryer conditions. They were not disappointed, with a haul of 64 birds of 16 species. Of those, a fine male Firecrest was caught and ringed, one of several apparently seen in the area. A Treecreeper was caught, which is always a treat and a Grey Wagtail being the first bird of the morning. A female Mallard near the ringing base was enticed to some grain and fell in the hands of the team. Nineteen Long-tailed Tits were caught as well as seven Goldcrests and three Chiffchaffs.

Male Firecrest 


Long-tailed Tit

Photographs Felix Littlechild

Friday, 18 October 2019

Varied species catch

On last Wednesday evening the Group were lucky to find an opening in the unsettled weather to proceed with the second of our autumn wader mist netting sessions. Lovely calm evening with a vivid sunset. Nine nets were set on the Colyford Marsh lagoon area, where a variety of wader species roost. Never large numbers, but usually enough for the team to cope with and enable training of trainees to take place.

The total of 11 waders with a male and female Teal were caught. Five Dunlin all juveniles,the same number of Curlew of which two were retraps from previous sessions and one a juvenile. The little star of the evening was a Jack Snipe which is always a nice bird to catch. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2019


Please note due to inclement weather forecast for Saturday 12th October the public ringing demonstration has been cancelled.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Early autumn catch

Yesterday the Group were fortunate to process 48 birds of 15 species, including a Kingfisher, six Blackcaps and the same number of Chiffchaffs. A Woodpigeon blundered into a net and was successfully extracted by a member of the Group before it escaped by rolling out. One Reed Warbler was caught on migration as well as other resident species.

1st year Woodpigeon

1st year Kingfisher.

Photographs Mike Tyler

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Autumn waders Colyford Marsh

Last night was the first of two wader ringing sessions arranged for this autumn. The site of Colyford Marsh is very difficult to work with heavy mud, which is covered at hide tides. So care needs to be taken, not just for the birds. The number of waders frequenting the site at night to feed and roost can vary considerably, but only a few have ever been netted for ringing at any session. Last evening was no exception with a Teal and seven waders caught. These were: Common Snipe 1; Dunlin 4; and Whimbrel 2. The latter were both juveniles.

1. One of the juvenile Whimbrels 

2. Common Snipe
3. First year male Dunlin

Photographs 1 Allan Reese 2 & 3 Mike Tyler

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Corvid visitor

Yesterday the Group were holding a scheduled ringing demonstration when it caught a Magpie as well as other smaller birds, including Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. The Magpie was one rarely caught on the Wetlands.

Juvenile Magpie

Photograph Miriam Guard