bird ringing training chew valley

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2019 Ringing Course

News from the Ringing Station

April 2019
After surviving a heavy snow fall in February, the Heligoland trap was badly damaged during exceptionally strong winds...

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
Sat Jun 15 14:38:14
Swifts were flying low this morning, so between showers and preparing net lanes for CES tomorrow, we did a bit of '…
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Mon Jun 10 19:24:44
Perhaps an advantage in 'turning-up-late-to-the-party' is that the more dense new reed growth offers better support…
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Mon Jun 10 15:20:27
Apparently new-in Reed Warblers this morning, 8-9 weeks after the first arrivals. 11 ringed none showing convincing…
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Sun Jun 09 15:30:48
Nest Recording Reed Warblers: more than 80 nests found so far. Various stages - 3 broods r…
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Wed Jun 05 09:14:47
RT @RingersWm: Are you sitting down? We were pretty excited that one of the team found this skull at one of the Staffordshire Peregrine sit…
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Sun Jun 02 12:20:53
Juvs starting to make themselves known. 4 Chiffs, 6 Robins, 1 Garden Warbler & 2 Blackcap. One of the latter having…
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Sun May 26 21:16:27
@rock_nester There was 1 brood found that were too big to ring, but i dont know of others close to ringing (though…
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Sun May 26 21:08:01
Bird of the day: Reed Warbler ringed here as an adult in May 2010 and seen in all summers since, except 2014 – alwa…
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Sun May 26 20:53:13
@rock_nester Variable first dates of Reed Warblers. Its certainly at the early end for previous years & also for th…
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Sat May 25 16:05:42
Nest recording Reed Warblers: first nest found on 6th May. Over the last 10 days or so num…
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