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


Wednesday 25th

News of a colour ring sighting from Restharrow Scrape. It involved another Herring Gull. It was on the Scrape on March 15th and had been ringed at Ockenden in Essex on February 16th 2019.

Saturday 21st

Unfortunately as all but one of the ringing team are volunteers who travel in from the surrounding area we have suspended the main activities for now. I will take the opportunity to highlight some of the movements recorded over the last 60 or so years.

This Shag was photographed by Nick Smith in Ramsgate Harbour on 6th January 2018. It had been ringed on the Isle of May on June 12th 2017 and seen there regularly until October 21st.

Shag Ramsgate 2018
Shag, Ramsgate 2018

Friday 20th

Another colour ring sighting. This time it was a Shag photographed in Ramsgate Harbour on February 10th this year. It had originally been ringed on the Isle of May on 15/6/19 and had not been since.

Monday 16th

A lovely morning – mild and calm. Forty birds were caught of which 24 were new. Chiffchaff led the way with ten new birds. Several of these had good fat scores of three. It maybe they have found plenty of insect food on their journey up as known showed the clusters of pollen and nectar around the base of the bill which is sometimes a feature of new spring arrivals. One of the Chaffinch retraps was a minimum of nine years old having first been ringed here as an adult seven springs ago.

Sunday 15th

Despite an unpleasant start to the day some ringing was possible. Eleven birds were ringed. The first Firecrest of the year was the highlight and six Chaffinches were a small reflection of the number moving overhead.

Friday 13th

A mild, sunny, start allowed some ringing. Fourteen birds were caught of which eight were new. The fact that the new Chiffchaff had lots of sticky pollen around its bill was a strong indication it was a new arrival. Other birds, such as the Blue Tits, had good fat scores and were also probably on the move.

Wednesday 11th

A warm and sunny day after the early drizzle which brought Redwings into the area. The water level remains high, above what we are set up for, and so continued maintenance was the order of the day. We have patched so many gaps in the Heligoland; we wonder just how it did catch birds.

News of another gull ring read at Restharrow Scrape. This time it was a metal ring read from a photo. The bird was a Black-headed Gull ringed at Oye-Plage, just across the Channel, as a chick in 2011 and read here on March 8th this year. It’s always great to see non-ringers contributing to the ringing scheme.

Friday 6th

As it was a fairly calm start it was planned to ring today as well but yesterday’s deluge left the rides to wet to ring safely. Next week the wind is forecast to return and so it could be a week of maintenance.

Wednesday 4th

Almost unheard of, two calm, dry days in a row resulted in another frosty start. This time five birds were ringed – two Great Tits, two House Sparrows and a Chaffinch. As often happens at this time of the year there is a build up of Starlings in the surrounding fields all busy feeding but not interested in the Crow Trap.

Tuesday 3rd

At last a calm start with no rain. This did mean there was a hard frost.

Only two new birds were caught – a Chiffchaff and a Wren. Topping up of the feeders has been intermittent due to the weather and so there is not a lot feeding in the Whitehouse.