BTO Ringing Course

The course is designed for people who already have a ringing permit but who would like additional experience or to be assessed for advancement.

It will run from Thursday 13th August (pm) until lunch on Sunday 16th August. The focus will be on passerines. The cost is £150 full board.

Anyone who would like more details should contact Ian Hunter via


A big thank you to those who responded to the request for nest box plates. Along with those on order we now have enough to protect all the wooden nest boxes we have up.

Saturday 22nd

No ringing but interesting news from a couple of movements.  The first is a Lesser Redpoll which was ringed here on 23/10/18 and caught on 29/10/19 in Brabant, Belgium- 238km east. The second is confirmation of a colour ringed Black-headed Gull which was an adult when ringed in Limburg, Netherlands on 19/4/14 and read in the field here on 27/12/19.

Friday 21st

A limited effort was possible and rewarded with ten new birds. One of these was a Redwing which is notable this year as the mild weather has resulted in many more bees than Redwing being seen so far.

Wednesday 19th

Until recently we had got away very lightly but last weekends storm means we have some serious repair work to do to the side of the heligoland and some fallen trees to clear. Despite this today was relatively calm and some ringing was done. Sixteen birds were caught of which six were new-one Robin, one Great Tit, two Blue Tits and two Chaffinches.

Tuesday 18th

Rubbish weather has meant very little ringing. However, we have just received the following exciting information:

Spoonbill photographed by Roland Wells-Colyer at Pegwell Bay
Spoonbill photographed by Roland Wells-Colyer at Pegwell Bay

This bird was first ringed as a nestling on 31 May 2015 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It has been recorded in Mauritania twice in each January in 2017 and 2018. It was then seen and photographed by Roland Wells-Colyer on 12 May 2019 in Pegwell Bay.

Friday 7th

Another pleasant, sunny, day with just a bit more breeze. Eleven birds were caught but only two of these were new. Although House Sparrows are not using the Observatory feeders in any number there is clearly a trickle of them through our trapping area; there was one new and one retrap today.

Wednesday 5th

It might be the lull before the storm but it was excellent conditions for ringing. Thirty birds were caught of which 16 were new. This included two species new for the year – Moorhen (2) and Starling. The lack of the latter is a notable feature this winter, we would normally have lots around the Obs, farm and fields but not this year. Also of note was a retrap Redwing. This bird was ringed here in January 2018 and had not been recorded since, it is rare to get a returning migrant species such as this. At least one of our ringed Chiffchaffs is overwintering around here as well.

Tuesday 4th

Too windy to ring and so another session repairing nest boxes. This time it was the Elms area. We are almost out of metal plates we have had to repair so many and so will be appealing for some to be donated.