Thursday, 28 December 2017
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.
Thursday, 21 December 2017
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.
To our followers and supporters have a wonderful Christmas from the Axe Estuary Ringing Group.
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
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.
|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)
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Yesterday the Group, with weather on its side, caught 87 birds of 19 species. The highlights were a Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, 20 Long-tailed Tits and ten Chiffchaffs. All in all a very good morning.
Photo by Sue Murphy
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Friday, 20 October 2017
Well! The rescheduled session turned out better than expected with 77 birds caught of 16 species. The highlight probably the seven Cetti's Warblers caught in one morning. Only one was a retrap suggesting the others may had come from a far.
Still a few Chiffchaffs (6 caught) and Blackcaps (3 caught) around and a increase in the number of Goldcrest, four that been caught. So a very good morning for the team.
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Sunday, 24 September 2017
Yesterday the Group set several nets in the hope to catch a few straggler migrants and ended with 138 birds of 18 species. Migrants accounted for nine Chiffchaffs and ten Blackcaps, but interesting was a Green Woodpecker a species rarely caught on the Wetlands. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were also caught and a record 51 Goldfinches and a Kestrel. A good morning all round.
|Juvenile Green Woodpecker|
Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Saturday, 26 August 2017
Last Thursday's session was not only programmed to hopefully take advantage of any migrant fall, but surprisingly attracted 116 members of the public to the Discovery Hut where it was all happening. There was a fall of migrants along the south coast, which I am sure accounted for some of our high numbers of Chiffchaffs. These totalled 33 and other migrants included Blackcap 6, House Martin 8, Willow Warbler 3, Sedge Warbler 8, Whitethroat 1. The juvenile Cetti's Warbler and four Reed Warblers were more than likely to be local.
The only other species in caught in good numbers were 29 Goldfinches. The total catch for the morning was 136 of 19 species. A session to be remembered.
|First year House Martin|
|First year Willow Warbler|
Photographs - Mike Tyler
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Yesterday was the first ringing session for August organised by the Group and considered a success. A total of 89 birds of 14 species was caught and only eight retraps from previous catches. Mind you the catch took place at Colyford Common at the far end of the Wetlands and considered by some birdwatchers as a place of few birds. Well we again proved it to be otherwise. The habitat is good and with little disturbance as fewer members of the public venture that far away from the centre of activity.
The morning started well with little wind and light cloud. This was to change with darken clouds on the horizon resulting in a heavy downpour, with the team of six of us moving quickly to furl the nets. Later we could open them to conclude the morning activity.
The tally was of interest and included, 10 Sedge Warblers, 24 Reed Warblers, 5 House Sparrows, 5 Robins, 9 Willow Warblers, 17 Blue Tits, 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Wrens, 2 Swallows, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Dunnock, 1 Cetti's Warbler and 2 Reed Buntings.
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
The Group have been invited for several years to set a display of our work at the Natural Seaton Festival and attending the last on Saturday 15th July was no exception. We intend to highlight our stand for future years, but nevertheless many folk visited us and took and interest in the ringing of birds. It is also a good event to explain our conservation work and recruit new members.
|Photos Mike Tyler|
Our last two sessions have shown a steady number of birds, mainly juveniles as one would expect at this time of the year. A total of 192 birds of twenty species. No specific highlights other than perhaps the usual distribution of Kingfishers from higher up the Axe and Coly Rivers and tributaries. Two were caught at the second of the sessions on 17th July.
|Juvenile Kingfishers (Photo Mike Tyler)|
Thursday, 6 July 2017
Saturday, 17 June 2017
An unexpected large catch of 136 birds, including five Swallow pulli, of 17 species created excitement for the small team of six ringers this morning. No rarities of course, but a good number of juvenile birds visiting the Wetlands. The highlight was a breeding second year female Lesser Whitethroat and number of Reed Warblers that had been ringed by the Group in previous years, including a control.
The tally was: Robin 11; Greenfinch 15; Reed Bunting 1; Lesser Whitethroat 1; Chaffinch 15; Goldfinch 10; Reed Warbler 21; Chiffchaff 13; Blackcap 9; Sedge Warbler 2; Cetti's Warbler 3; Great Tit 10; Blue Tit 7; Bullfinch 2; Blackbird 7; and Dunnock 4.
|One of the five Swallow pulli (Photo Sue Murphy)|
|Breeding female Lesser Whitethroat (Photo Mike Tyler)|
|Juvenile Goldfinch (Photo Mike Tyler)|
Friday, 9 June 2017
Monday, 5 June 2017
Today the Group of six ringers caught 95 birds before the storms arrived. Of those 31 House Martins and 12 Sand Martins were ringed after flying low catching insects. Fifteen further species were caught concluding a really good morning's catch.
Just after taking the nets down a lovely Red-back Shrike decided to put in an appearance. Anyway, one cannot be too greedy.
Thursday, 25 May 2017
This week's programmed session expected to perhaps slightly different in that we were working at the far end of Colyford Common and in the relatively new reed bed. Out of 59 birds caught and processed 23 were Reed Warblers. One of these warblers was first caught by the Group as an adult female on 16th July 2009 and subsequently again on 26th June 2012, 21st May 2013 and finally on 24th May 2017. When first caught as an adult there was no indication when it had hatched which could have been in 2008 or even earlier. In any event we do know it had migrated to Africa and back at least nine times. Quite a remarkable feat. This information certainly shows the importance of monitoring migrant warblers.
Of the other species of which there were ten, included Blue Tit, Robin, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Dunnock, Linnet (see photo), Goldfinch, Whitethroat (see Photo), Wren and Great Tit.
An interesting and enjoyable morning.
|Two photos of the adult female Linnet (Photo Doug Rudge)|
|Adult male Whitethroat (Photo Sue Murphy)|
Monday, 15 May 2017
The Group three times a year hold a weekend session and the last weekend was our first with an encouraging catch. A total of of 98 birds of 22 species were catch and ringed. A wide variety of migrants and resident species. One was an adult male Moorhen shown in the photograph below.
|Adult male Moorhen|
(Photograph Sue Murphy)
Thursday, 4 May 2017
When birds are busy nesting our catches can be limited, especially if migration falls are few on the day. Yesterday was no exception, nevertheless 21 birds were caught including several Reed and Sedge Warblers,
Photos by Nicola Russell
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
The Group travelled to the edge of the Seaton Wetlands to work the new reed beds and set nets in and close to the Crop Field. This area can be a gamble with many catches containing interesting species visiting the Wetlands. On this occasion, last Saturday, only 24 birds were caught. No real highlights, but the 34 members of the public who made the distance to see us ringing birds was nevertheless a bonus for them. The catch included Greenfinch 3, Wren 2, Great Tit 4, Goldfinch 1, Reed Bunting 2, Long-tailed Tit 2, Blackbird 1, Blue Tit 2, Reed Warbler 1, Robin 1, Cetti's Warbler 2, and Dunnock 3.
Photographs Nigel Marsh
|Male Reed Bunting|
Photographs Luke Broderick
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Yesterday's session on the Seaton Wetlands produced a fine selection of 29 birds of 16 species which included an early catch of a Kestrel. Believed to be one of a pair breeding in the area. Other birds included: Willow Warblers; Chiffchaffs; Reed Buntings; Goldfinches; and a Blackcap.
|Early catch Kestrel|
Photographs by Luke Broderick
Friday, 24 March 2017
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Migration to their breeding grounds are well underway with fewer birds now seen in their wintering quarters. This was particularly noticeable on the Wetlands. Fewer birds seen and at our last ringing session resulting in fewer caught. Seventeen in total, including three Mallard caught in the Abberton Traps and a fine looking Treecreeper.
|Treecreeper (Photo Sue Murphy)|
Friday, 24 February 2017
The Group are known for its work on certain species and these are subject to colour ring schemes. The species are Shelduck with black lettering on a yellow background, Black-tailed Godwits with site rings red-yellow-red and Wigeon with black letters on lime green.
Hopefully visitors to the Blog will keep their eyes open and send an e-mail to the address shown on the Blog.
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
The programmed mist netting session took place today with 30 birds caught and processed. Nothing of note, but four ducks comprising of two Teal and two Mallard, together with a Moorhen were trapped in the Abberton Traps. Nice surprise following only one Teal last Saturday at the Otter Estuary, despite the use of cannon nets.
|Adult male Great Spotted Woodpecker|
|Adult male Teal|
Photographs Doug Rudge
Saturday, 18 February 2017
When does a cunning plan succeed ? Well it didn't for the Group today at its monthly winter catch of Wigeon at the Otter Estuary. Careful planning nearly caught 250 Wigeon on two occasions during the morning. Yes, twice the flock were in 20 metres of being caught. The ducks just wandered in the wrong direction grazing as they waddled. Not to be entirely beaten and to ensure something for those who gave up their Saturday morning, we tried to catch two Teal that had been on the edge of the catching area all morning. Well one was caught! See photograph of an attractive adult male.
Adult male Teal given detailed attention (Photo Mike Tyler)