bird ringing training chew valley

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2019 Ringing Course

News from the Ringing Station

March 2019
Just 120 birds were handled in March. I thought that February was bad enough! Weather had an influence...

Controls & Recoveries

Recent returns from the BTO include 2 Goldfinch ringed on the Calf of Man.

Chew Valley Ringing Station

is located in North Somerset just north of the Mendip hills on the southwest shore of Chew Valley Lake and on the A368 road midway between Bath and Weston-super-Mare, between the villages of Bishop Sutton and West Harptree.
Ringing started at Chew Valley Lake in 1963 and the first report was produced by the Mendip Ringing Group covering the years 1962-63. Our ringing area is mainly reed bed with some scrub. Between April and September we normally catch good numbers of Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers and a varying number of other species such as Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler plus the normal residents which now include Cetti's Warbler. We get a good passage of migrants and there is plenty of chance to see stages of moult. We also attempt to catch hirundines at roost.
If you wish to enquire about membership or have any other query please email us at in the first instance for details.

Bird Ringing Course 2018 - 26th-29th July

CVRS ringing course 2018
This year's ringing course ran over four days 26-29th July 2018. For the first time there were eight participants and the course followed a new format, with four tutors dedicated to supervise two participants each, leading to assessments at the end. Another change was to focus on quality of supervision rather than quantity of birds ringed. Post-course responses reflect that these changes were greatly beneficial to the success of the course. One participant received positive assessment for a training endorsement, two for advancement to 'A' permit and the others all made positive progress towards 'C' permit sooner or later. After the long heatwave the weather chose to close in, with wind and rain on the Saturday – not entirely a bad thing as this provided the opportunity to demonstrate how to monitor the worsening weather and close/furl nets when necessary. Indoor talks on bird handling and the moult cycle were well-received and are now a regular feature of the course.

The preceding weeks of dry weather had reduced the normal abundance of birds in the catching areas. Totals were as follows: ringed 309; retraps 99; total caught/processed 408 of 26 species. The Thursday night hirundine roost catch comprised 63 Swallows and 13 Sand Martins. One adult Swallow had been ringed as a pullus a few miles away at Stowey. Only one Water Rail was caught – this may have been as a result of the plethora of tiny frogs that had just emerged and doubtless distracted adult Water Rails for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other highlights included a retrapped 10 year-old Reed Warbler and opportunities to fit less-common ring-sizes required for a Canada Goose, three Mallard and a Kingfisher.
2017 ringing course
2019 Ringing Course - 25th to 28th July
Mon Apr 15 07:35:48
RT @RingersWm: Visited a farm today to survey nest boxes using the @vikingoptical ED’s 8x42 and @ThomasJacksLtd #thermal imager. Only two h…
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Sat Apr 13 14:45:23
Cant get better than to know the first Reed Warbler of the year was ringed here as a presumed breeding male in the…
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Fri Apr 12 11:08:04
RT @BirdgirlUK: Did my nest box survey yesterday at Chew Valley Lake for the @_BTO NRS and found my first Blue Tit egg of the year. Always…
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Sun Apr 07 15:13:55
Still waiting for the first Sedge or Reed Warbler of the year.
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Sat Apr 06 15:22:54
Wonderfully spring morning (if a tad chilly) with 3 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff & 7 Blackcap popping in, and Song…
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Sun Mar 31 16:30:09
It's all happening in the world of Cetti's Warblers. 2 males and 5 females were in the same small scrubby section o…
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Sat Mar 30 22:51:24
Great visit from #Black2Nature today with the kids really enjoying their first experience of bird ringing and mothi…
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Sun Mar 24 14:54:52
The story of a Dunnock. Ringed here in Feb 2015 and sexed as a male that summer. It disappeared for the winter but…
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Sat Mar 23 15:11:17
First bit of ringing for a while was a tad quiet, though 2 new Chiffchaff is always a good thing.
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Thu Mar 07 17:51:56
RT @CABS_REPORTS: The #CABS winter Bird Protection Camp in #Cyprus is now complete. Over 10 weeks, our teams found >100 active trapping sit…
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