Bird ringing

A couple of weeks ago our CES (constant effort site) visits to Martin Down ended. Constant effort site visits are when you go to the exact same place, same time, same nets etc over a period of time – we did ours 12 times over a few months.

Meadow pipit

Now that it has ended for the year, we are still going back but are able to use recordings of bird song to attract the birds!

On our CES visits, we may ring 50-60 birds but when we play the tapes this can triple! Here are the results from a CES visit and standard visit:

The first time we went, we caught 101 birds just on the first round of checking the nets! In total for this day we caught and ringed over 200 birds!


Around 105 of these were Blackcaps. Blackcaps respond to the recordings really well and they are also moving through at the moment, starting their migration.

Female blackcap

Today we went again and caught and ringed even more! On the first round we did over 120 birds catching 228 in total!

We always catch the most on the first couple of rounds in the morning as we get all of the overnight roosting birds in the vegetation next to the nets! They are also more active in the morning and early hours of the day.

Grasshopper warbler

We have ringed some nice birds over the past couple of visits! Including Redstarts, a Grasshopper Warbler, Yellowhammers, a Stonechat, a Meadow Pipit and Reed Warblers!

Here is the totals from the last visit!


Blackcap 148

Dunnock 7

Chiffchaff 12

Reed warbler 1

Redstart 4

Blackbird 3

Blue tit 3

Wren 1

Whitethroat 21

Robin 10

Meadow pipit 1

Lesser whitethroat 2

Bullfinch 4

Long-tailed tit 4

Goldfinch 1

Linnet 2

Willow warbler 2

Grasshopper warbler 1

=228 birds

Grasshopper warbler
Female redstart

7 thoughts on “Bird ringing

  1. Izzy, these are just the most gorgeously uplifting photos. Seeing the beautiful creatures so close up is a real privilege. And they all look so entirely un-upset about the process – a tribute to the ringers! Thank you.


  2. Looks like some nice species! Do you get a lot of recaptures? Which species are the most common at your site? ๐Ÿ˜Š
    I have been ringing at a CES site on Amager close to Copenhagen. Here we catch mostly willow warblers, chiffchaff and lesser whitethroat. And our recapture rate is quite high!


    1. We get a couple of recaptures but I would say 85% new ones! At this time of year Blackcaps are definitely the most common but also whitethroats and lots of goldfinches in the winter!


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