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

At present we are still planning on having this course but we will have to wait for future Government guidelines. If it is cancelled we will refu

Tuesday 26th

A check of the House Martin nest boxes showed a mixed picture. Three of the occupied ones from last year are empty this year. However two others already have clutches of five eggs. Apparently House Martins are still on the move so maybe a few more nests will be occupied.

Friday 22nd

Two interesting recoveries notified today. The first was a Chiffchaff ringed here as a bird of the year on 26/9/18 and caught, presumably on a return journey, by a ringer in Navarra, Spain on 8/3/20 (1015 km SSW).

The second is of a Starling ringed here on 21/8/17 and found dead in Denmark on 15/5/20, 706km north-east. It is unusual for a bird ringed here at that time of year to go abroad, most go to Deal!

Friday 8th

We have been colour ringing two resident species – House Sparrow and Collared Dove – for four years now in an attempt to find out more about them. Sparrows have proved particularly elusive with few rings read away from the Observatory area and the south end of Sandown Road, both of which yield regular records. Less Collared Doves have been ringed but they have undertaken the ‘longest’ journeys. A while ago one headed towards Chislett near Canterbury and this week Steffan read one in the field at Blue Pigeons (very apt for a blue colour ring). This bird had been ringed during the 2017 ringing course and not seen since. Okay it is only a short distance inland but it is the second longest journey of one of our birds.

Saturday 2nd

Two broods of Starlings were ringed from nest boxes on the Observatory and another two broods from nest boxes at Sandown Road.

House Sparrows are also busy breeding but both of the most advanced ones hit problems. On the Observatory one brood died, probably during the brief cold spell. At Sandown Road I went outside to see what the fuss was about and witnessed a Magpie fly off with a chick it had just grabbed from the entrance of the box. The chicks were near fledging and coming to the mouth to beg for food. Judging by the noise hopefully the other chicks left and took shelter under the solar panels on the roof.