bird ringing training chew valley

2020 Bird Ringing Course

20th - 23rd August

Our ringing course is primarily reed-bed ringing of passerines (including Swallow roosts) and we aim to catch a few waterfowl for ringing experience. Catching is mainly using mist-nets; we also use a Heligoland trap and various ‘bird-triggered’ traps. We will demonstrate use of a whoosh-net if possible. Afternoon 'theory' sessions cover the moult cycle, wing formulae, correct handling of birds and data entry etc. All participants receive an appraisal at the end of the course and get to keep ringing data sheets of birds they have ringed/processed personally. To get an idea of the type of habitat and range of species likely to be caught and processed, see the lists below from previous years. Nothing is guaranteed of course - other than lots of Reed Warblers which are excellent practice for ageing, moult, fat, muscle scores and other biometrics.

The course is an ideal environment for different levels of assessment: for trainee ringers to gain wider experience or obtain an appraisal for a 'C permit'; for existing 'C' ringers seeking independent assessment to 'A' permit; and for 'A' ringers wanting assessment for a training endorsement. If space allows, also for ringers simply seeking further experience. Note: the course is for people who already hold permits or have had reasonable experience as a trainee – it is not suitable for beginners.

We aim to have a group of up to eight participants of mixed levels of experience on the course. Throughout the course they will be supported by very experienced tutors. Places will be allocated, following the BTO’s guidelines, by selecting an appropriate balance of participants. If there are any vacancies after 1st April 2020 they will be filled on a first come first served basis. Our courses have a reputation for being run on a very friendly basis and with excellent catering: we are there to support and encourage and not to intimidate participants!

The course fee is expected to be £165. This includes the cost of all rings, use of extensive equipment and part-catering from Thursday evening to Sunday lunch plus tea, coffee etc throughout the weekend. We will adjourn to a local pub for evening meals or get take-aways from the village shop. The ringing station has a well-equipped kitchen, a washroom with h&c water and shower and two toilets. Participants will need to provide their own sleeping accommodation – either camping in the secluded garden of the ringing station or in or camper van – or use accommodation locally.

Applicants will be notified by 1st April 2020 (or earlier if possible) if a place has been reserved following which payment will be requested. A full set of instructions and detailed information about the course will follow. For more information and a booking form please email or phone Bob Medland, Email: hirundo.bm@gmail.com tel: 01761 452959
2019 Course totals
Species Full grown Pulli Retraps Total
Mallard3003
Water Rail2002
Black-headedGull0011
Kingfisher2002
SandMartin120012
Swallow13090139
Wren90110
Dunnock5049
Robin5027
Blackbird0022
Song Thrush3014
Cetti's Warbler40711
Sedge Warbler570562
Reed Warbler20212111325
Garden Warbler6006
Blackcap130316
Chiffchaff7018
Willow Warbler2013
Blue Tit60410
Great Tit60511
Nuthatch1001
Treecreeper1001
Jay3014
Chaffinch130215
Goldfinch160117
Bullfinch0011
Reed Bunting1012
Total:50921154684
2018 Course totals
Species Full grown Pulli Retraps Total
CanadaGoose1001
Mallard3003
Water Rail0101
Kingfisher1001
Sand Martin130013
Swallow660167
Wren140418
Dunnock1023
Robin80311
Blackbird2024
Song Thrush0303
Cetti's Warbler4037
Sedge Warbler120012
Reed Warbler102448154
Lesser Whitethroat1001
Garden Warbler5027
Blackcap350742
Chiffchaff2002
Willow Warbler1012
Long-tailed Tit3047
Blue Tit1201830
Great Tit90413
Treecreeper4004
Chaffinch0011
Goldfinch1001
Bullfinch4004
Reed Bunting1012
Total:3058101414