Trip reports

Bird ringing at Minsmere with Waveney Bird Club

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Arriving at 9.45 I found the bird ringers having a nice healthy breakfast (having started many hours earlier we discovered later). I introduced myself to Steve Piotrowski and was introduced to the rest of the group. It was to be Carl who would lead the ringing.
Waveney Group members regularly conduct ringing demonstrations at RSPB Minsmere and National Trust Dunwich Heath. The purpose of their demonstration is to allow visitors, especially children, to see birds in the hand. It also provides an opportunity to explain about bird migration.
The process involves the species, adult/juvenile ring number, sex, condition/fat content, weight and explains to the audience how and why birds are ringed and the benefits of ringing as a conservation tool. The audiences are invited and encouraged to ask questions. Waveney Bird Club also undertake both Constant Effort Site (CES) and Retrapping Adults for Survival (RAS) research schemes on behalf of the BTO (bird ringing started in the UK in 1909 administered by the National History Museum but now administered by the BTO Thetford).

The plan was to start at 10.00 but the birds brought in started at 10.30. Species coming in were Blackcap, Blue tit, Great tit, Wren, Reed Warbler, Lesser White throat, Green woodpecker, at times there were more than one of these species and one or two had already been ringed.

We had 10 members including the leader. It was fascinating standing in the background and seeing the interest by our members and the general public, especially the children. The weather was kind to us up until lunch time when the rain came in which seemed a good time for our lunch.

I would like to thank members who joined us as it makes it worthwhile. It's not always easy to please everyone so I would like to say to other members and the general public please come and join us; you are all welcome.

Sue Bayliss