Tuesday, 21 January 2020

First mist netting session for 2020

Today the Group had its first mist netting session for this year and processed 21 birds. The highlight of the morning was a Common Snipe caught on one of the scrapes.

Adult Common Snipe (Photo Peter Bennett)

Saturday, 11 January 2020

First duck catch for 2020

The Group's first catch of the year was a cannon netting session for duck at Seaton Marshes. The weather was kind, despite an increasing wind during the morning.

Thirty-two Shelduck were caught of which seven were new birds for colour ringing. Ringing has shown that the Shelduck is a long living bird and loyal to its wintering sites. Today showed that birds ringed more than ten years ago, when we started to colour ring the species, are still being caught.

In addition six Mallard were caught of which four were new birds.

Adult female Shelduck (Photo Mike Tyler)

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Last ringing session for 2019

Today was the last day the Group carried out ringing until the New Year. After a doubtful start with light rain we were lucky for a break in the weather enabling a start. Despite a short session we caught 36 birds of ten species. No highlights on this occasion, but an enjoyable session nevertheless.

May I take the opportunity to thank our supporters throughout 2019 and to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Mike Tyler

Saturday, 14 December 2019

First winter duck catch

Today the Group held its first winder duck catch at Seaton Marshes and 41 ducks were caught. These comprised of three Mallard   and 37 Shelduck. A team of over 20 members attended.

The catching team
Photo Mike Tyler

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.