Striving to record, monitor and conserve birds & wildlife found on the Sutton & Lound GP's SSSI (Idle Valley NR) since 1990.

North Nottinghamshire Ringing Group

Information about the groups activities will be added to this page only when supplied via members of the group.

Photo's from local ringing activity in 2012/13

Goldcrest Regulus regulus - Retford, 26th January 2013. ©Jackie Lawrence 

Waxwing Bombycilla garrulous - Retford, 22nd January 2013. ©Jackie Lawrence

Lesser Redpoll Carduelis cabaret - Retford, 13th January 2013. ©Jackie Lawrence


More pictures to follow soon!

First-summer male Pied Flycatcher in Retford

Ian Cowgill has shared a photo of a first-summer male Pied Flycatcher which was trapped and ringed in Adrian Blackburns garden in Retford this morning. A nice garden tick for anyone!

Posted on Tuesday 29th May 2012 at 21.00pm.

Gull Ringing Sessions at Daneshill Refuse Site By Vic Giles

North Nottinghamshire Ringing Group (NNRG) recently planned a gull ringing session at Daneshill and invited myself and Ian Cowgill along to participate. Permission was obtained from the site management and the first session was held on Monday February 20th. We turned up on the day not knowing what to expect, and were kitted out with helmets, yellow jackets and boots with toe protection. The next thing was the induction process which entailed a computer question and answer session which got us a certificate allowing us to be on the working area. Then the fun began. We assisted the ringers in setting up the ‘net’, which is about 30 metres long. We then retired to a safe distance while the bulldozer drivers laid a fresh load of household waste in front of the net to tempt the birds. The net is fired by using projectiles which shoot the net out and this requires great skill to operate correctly and effectively. If fired when birds are flying then you can imagine the carnage that would cause to fragile wings. The licensed operator was Adrian Blackburn’s son, Jez, who works for the BTO. He had to wait till the flock settled on the refuse (I won’t say food) before firing. The net was then fired as the gulls were settled. This heralded a footrace by 15 ‘crazed’ ringers anxious to get their quarry in the bag. Gulls were removed from under the mesh and placed in sack bags. This process took about 10 minutes. The birds were then taken to the ringing area when everyone had a well earned cuppa. My job as a ‘non ringer’ was to open the bags and extricate the gulls. The black- headed Gulls were comparatively easy as there ‘pecking’ is relatively harmless. The bigger gulls have only one aim and that is to draw blood, and they are very good at it. However most of the ringers were experienced and made sure they got the gulls head controlled before handling the body and wings. The gulls are examined carefully before having a metal ring put on the right leg. The big gulls also had a plastic ‘Darvic’ colour ring put onto the left leg before release. We only managed one ‘firing’ and ringed the following:-

Black-headed Gull – 176 birds (including 1 ringed in Britain and 1 ringed in Sweden).

Common Gull – 5.

Herring Gull – 28 (including 1 ringed in Russia).

Great Black-backed Gull – 23.

A week later on Monday 27th February about 20 of us went back at the tip and this time we managed two ‘firings’. The rain held off sufficiently enabling us to get the 2nd lot under cover before opening the bags, and the following species were ringed:-

Black–headed Gull – 280 (including 2 birds ringed in Denmark).

Common Gull – 6.

Herring Gull – 17.

Great Black-backed Gull – 30.

One of the Herring Gulls was a ‘Scandinavian’ race  Larus argentatus argentatus and as can be seen in the photo below has a much bigger white ‘spot’ on the outer tips of the primary feathers, easy to see with bird in hand but more difficult in the field. Other characteristics are ‘slightly darker’ grey mantle and wing colouration and is slightly larger in size to ‘British’ race Larus a argenteus.


(Above) ‘Scandinavian’ Herring Gull Larus a argentatus – Adult, Daneshill Refuse Site, 27th February 2012. ©Jackie Lawrence


 (Below) Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus – First-winter ‘Yellow’ [3G1B], Daneshill Refuse Site, 20th February 2012. ©Jackie Lawrence

Ian Cowgill picked out a juvenile Glaucous Gull amongst the flock on the 27th and interestingly one was seen to fly over Chainbridge viewpoint on March 8th before being relocated in fields at Daneshill NR. Only one re-trap bird, a Great Black–backed was caught in the second session after being ringed there the previous week. Already two of the ringed birds have been re-sighted elsewhere, a Herring Gull was at Ogston Reservoir (Derbyshire) and a Great Black–backed Gull was at Stubbers Green in the West Midlands.
This side of ringing requires teamwork, quite a bit of expense, planning and of course lots of volunteers. Amazingly the ringers pay to do this, scrabbling about in human household waste (you get used to the smell after a while) and getting pecked into the bargain. There were between 2000 and 3000 birds feeding on the site, most, if not all of whom were from Lound. This is only a small proportion of the Lound winter population, so the other 12000 or so must fan out and go elsewhere to feed. We must now keep an eye open for large gulls with orange or yellow leg tags. Let’s hope that the same gulls will come back to Lound in 10 or even 15 years time and are picked up by birders. The Refuse Site Management were most helpful and I believe NNRG will be doing this again in August, apparently the site has only another three years left to operate.

Posted on Friday 13th April at 01.10am