Ringing Report - March 2014


MARCH 2014



Very little ringing undertaken this year.   2 controls to report


SEDGE WARBLER – D433189 ringed at South Milton Ley on 26th August, 2013 controlled at HOLME BIRD OBSERVATOR, NORFOLK on 5th September, 2013

First occasion that one of our SEDGE recovered in Norfolk in the same Autumn – only 10 days later.   At this time of the year most of the controls reported are from the west coast of France.


CHIFFCHAFF – HBC 394 ringed at South Milton Ley on 22nd July 2013 and controlled by Alan Searle at HALLSANDS, Devon on 6th September 2013.









Some recent controls received from BTO –


CHIFFCHAFF – Ring HDH938 ringed on 16th November 2013 at South Milton Ley controlled at Hallsands (Devon) on 1st December 2013.


CHIFFCHAFF – Ring EDC744 ringed on 5th October 2013 at Slapton Ley controlled at South Milton Ley on 17th November 2013.


WILLOW WARBLER – ring EAT824 ringed on 8th August 2011 at South Milton Ley controlled at Saint-Froult at Charente-Maritime, France on 15th August, 2013.


PIED WAGTAIL – ring D164298 ringed on 5th October 2013 at Slapton Ley controlled at

South Milton Ley on 27th November 2013


REED BUNTING – ring D454501 at Trowlesworthy Warren, Devon on 25th June 2013 and controlled on 7th November 2013 at South Milton Ley.

On both occasions the ringer. was Roger Short




A full report will be included in the January, 2014 issue.

Some controls to report:-


SEDGE WARBLER – L 739386 ringed on 10th September 2013 at Lough Beg,CORK, Ireland, controlled on 21st September 2013 at South Milton Ley a distance of 119km in 11 days

This is the first control of a Sedge ringed in Southern Ireland


REED WARBLER – Y359072 ringed on 18th May, 2013 at Slapton Ley controlled on 22nd July 2013 at South Milton Ley.


CHIFFCHAFF – BK6746 ringed on 14th October 2012 at Michelen, Antwerp, Belgium controlled on 29th November 2012 at South Milton Ley, 591km in 46 days.

Does this indicate our Wintering birds are European rather than British?


CHIFFCHAFF –ETD942 ringed on 22nd July, 2013 at Cornwood, Devon and controlled at South Milton Ley o




With Roger and Helen and their team of trainees and roosting visits by Bob and Dave – Over 300 birds ringed representing 20 species – interesting totals were;


SPARROWHAWK                 1                                 SKYLARK                              1

GREY WAGTAIL                   3                                 ALBA WAGTAIL                   79

STONECHAT                                    3                                 CETTIS WARBLER              3

CHIFFCHAFF                                  35                                GOLDCREST                                    12

REED BUNTING                   47                                BEARDED TIT                      2


Increase in numbers of birds ringed could be due to the very settled weather conditions.




CHIFFCHAFF – BK6746 Ringed at Antwerp, Belgium on 14th October 2012 controlled at South Milton Ley on 18th December 2012 – A distance of 591 km (370 miles) in 65 days


SWALLOW – Y803589 Ringed at Challacombe Farm, Postbridge Devon on 8th June 2013 controlled at South Milton Ley on 25th August 2013 in a roost.


REED BUNTING – Y874807 Ringed at South Milton Ley on 21st August, 2012 controlled at

Slapton Ley, Devon on 14th September, 2013

The CHIFFCHAFF is an interesting control being one of the few birds originating in Belgium – a first winter control for Devon.







No recoveries or controls to report.


Birds ringed during the month were:-


REED WARBLER                             4

SEDGE WARBLER                          16

CHIFFCHAFF                                                12       

WILLOW WARBER                           1       

YELLOW WAGTAIL                         2




Recoveries and Controls


Three recoveries to report:


CHIFFCHAFF – DJJ298 ringed near GREAT MALVERN, Worcs on 6th August, 2011 and controlled at SOUTH MILTON LEY on 28th March 2013.


WILLOW WARBLER – HBC211 ringed at SOUTH MILTON LEY on 9th April 2013 and controlled at LUNDY on 21st April 2013 – travelled 116Km NNW in 3 days.


BLACKCAP – Y358355 ringed at SLAPTON LEY on 15th July 2012 and controlled at SOUTH MILTON LEY on 7th May, 2013.



An impressive months total of birds ringed.

MARSH WARBLER              1                     WILLOW WARBLER                        68   (54)

CHIFFCHAFF                        41(24)            REED WARBLER                               82   (67)

SEDGE WARBLER            332 (220)           GRASSHOPPER WARBLER               1   (2)

WHITETHROAT                    15 (5)               GARDEN WARBLER                         2

BLACKCAP                           11 (6)               SPOTTED FLYCATCHER                1

REDSTART                           2                    TREE PIPIT                                          4

GREY WAGTAIL                   1                    YELLOW WAGTAIL                             2


Figures in brackets are the 2012 totals – this provides some indication of the better breading season this year for the Warblers.


Some of the birds controlled this month had been ringed overseas. So in the next few months we should have some interesting information to report on.               



JULY 2013


With Bob back from Thailand ringing activities started to build up with Warblers moving through from 11th.


Total ringed were:-


78 CHIFFCHAFF                               7 WILLOW WARBLER

4 BLACKCAP                                                7 REED WARBLER

24 SEDGE WARBLER                      1 GRASSHOPPER WARBLER..



3 CHIFFCHAFF and 1 WILLOW WARBLER controls to report.


CHIFFCHAFF 1 – DJV283 ringed on 17TH September 2011 at Woolston Eyes, Warrington and controlled at South Milton Ley on 9th April 2013.


CHIFFCHAFF 2   -   ENX952 ringed on 16th September 2012 at Icklesham, East Sussex and controlled at South Milton Ley on 10th April 2013.


CHIFFCHAFF 3   -   ENR169 ringed on 21st Sept 2012 at Rochester, Kent and controlled at South Milton Ley on 31st March 2013.


WILLOW WARBLER - CJV971 ringed on 29th March 2011 at Bardsey Island, Gwynedd and controlled at South Milton Ley on 9th April, 2013.


These controls provide evidence of birds using the Ley during their spring migration..

JUNE 2013




Two interesting controls to report:-


SEDGE WARBLER – Y367966 ringed at South Milton Ley on 23rd August, 2011

Controlled on 7th May, 2012 at BARDSEY ISLAND in Wales.


CHAFFFINCH – Y575017 ringed at South Milton Ley on 2nd December 2011 controlled on 25th April 2013 at TRYSIL near STAVANGER in Norway.


Until I speak to Bob B on his return I do not know if this is a first SCANDANAVIAN recovery for a CHAFFINCH


MAY 2013


Only a few birds ringed by Bob this month.


SEDGE WARBLER   -           4

CHIFFCHAFF                        -           1

LESSER WHITETHROAT    2 – first spring records.


Only control to report on is the adult SPOONBILL – V4 on the marshes from 25th March to 2nd April. Part of its history:-


2.06.06            -           ringed in Holland as a nestling – last seen there on 24.09.06.

10.10.06          -           reported on Taw Estuary at Barnstable – until 14.10.06.

12.01.07          -           reported from sites in Holland through to 1.10.07

4.12.07            -           reported from Alcochete in Portugal until 4.02.08.

8.05.08            -           Back in Holland.

11.10.08          -           Back in Portugal.

11.01.10          -           Back in Portugal – until 10.03.10.

1.04.10            -           Back in Holland.

22.11.10          -           Back in Portugal.

21.04.11          -           Back in Holland, no winter sightings from Portugal, last recorded in                                     Holland on 6.08.12.

25.03.13          -           First sightings on Thurlestone Marsh until 2.04.13.

2.04.13            -           Reported from Lodmoor (Dorset) last seen 5.04.13.

2.05.13            -           Back in Holland


Many thanks to Otto Overdijk for this detailed history.


APRIL 2013


Only Bob B ringing but he still managed a record Spring for CHIFFCHAFF.


Totals for the month all ringed at South Milton Ley.


4 SEDGE WARBLER                                                7 BLACKCAP

1 WHITE THROAT                                        42 WILLOW WARBLER



There were a number of controls amongst these, full details will be provided when information received.


BLACK TAILED GODWIT – Details have been received of the colour ringed bird that spent 6 days on South Huish Marsh.


29.6.2011        -           Ringed in Holland at Eemnes.

23.2.2013        -           Sighted at Porto Alto in Portugal.

20.3.2013        -           Sighted at Abcoude in Holland.

6.4.2013          -           Sighted at South Huish Marsh.


Interesting movements this year having returned to Holland on 20th March sighted 17 days later on South Huish Marsh, a cold spell did occur in Europe towards the end of March


MARCH 2013


Bob only returned from an extended holiday on March 13th however by the end of the month he had managed to ring with some assistance from Dave Scott.


119 CHIFFCHAFF                 (included a new site spring record of 80 in one day)



Over recent weeks notification received of some controls/recoveries.


CHIFFCHAFF – EVY217 – ringed at Hallsands Devon on 6th November, 2012 and controlled at South Milton Ley on 8th December, 2012.


BLACKCAP – l477563 – Ringed at Slapton Ley on 11th June, 2011 and controlled at South Milton Ley on 31st August, 2012.


REED BUNTING – X708294 – Ringed at South Milton Ley on 4th July 2009 and controlled at Mansands, Devon on 8th August, 2012.


REED WARBLER – Y367250 – Ringed at South Milton Ley on 22nd August, 2011 and controlled at Cardiff Wetland Reserve on 22nd May, 2012.


SEDGE WARBLER – L330517 – Ringed at South Milton Ley on 22nd July, 2010 and controlled on 4th August, 2012 at Noyant, Soulaire-et-Bourg, Main-et-Loire, France a distance of 387 Km.


SEDGE WARBLER – Y367966 – Ringed at South Milton Ley on 23rd August, 2011 and controlled at Bardsey Island on 7th May, 2012.


SEDGE WARBLER – Y575965 – Ringed at South Milton Ley on 28th July, 2012 and controlled at Sandouville, Seine-Maritime, France on 7th August, 2012 a distance of 311 Km in t0 days.


SEDGE WARBLER – Y874953 – Ringed at South Milton Ley on 12th August, 2012 and controlled at Donges, Loire-Atlantique, France on 23rd August, 2012 a distance of 353Km in 11 days.


SEDGE WARBLER – Y874956 – Ringed at South Milton Ley on 14th August, 2012 and controlled at Frossay, Loire-Atlantique, France on 27th August, 2012 a distance of 366Km in 13 days.


REED BUNTING – X581651 – Ringed at Challacombe Farm,. Nr. Postbridge on 31st October 2009 and controlled at South Milton Ley on 30th October, 2012.


REED BUNTING – Y357599 – Ringed at Slapton Ley on 15th September, 2011 and controlled on 1st April, 2012 at South Milton Ley.


REED BUNTING – Y367877 – Ringed at South Milton Ley on 14th October, 2011 and found dead from hitting a window at South Milton Ley on 16th March, 2012.


REED BUNTING – Y413310 – Ringed at Kitley Marsh Devon on 25th February, 2012 and controlled on 17th March 2012 and 18th March 2013 at South Milton Ley.


The importance of South Milton Ley as a feeding site during migration for both REED and SEDGE WARBLERS is again highlighted by the recoveries in Cardiff, Bardsey Island and the 3 French sites.






Most activity centred on the wintering CHIFFCHAFF flock. Numbers and species ringed were:-


PIED WAGTAIL                     3

STARLING                             4

BLACKCAP                           1

REED BUNTING                      7

CHIFFCHAFF                        21

GOLDCREST                       1


Some interesting retraps give an indication of species age and site fidelity:-


REED BUNTING – V452144 – Ringed at South Milton Ley on 4th February, 2007 retrapped on 13th December 2012 – almost 6 years later.


REED BUNTING – V859659 -          Ringed at South Milton Ley as a nestling on 19th August 2007 and retrapped on 19th Marsh 2012 and 30th November 2012.


CHIFFCHAFF – BVJ238 - Ringed at South Milton Ley on 11th December 2009 and retrapped on 5th December 2012



                                                  NOVEMBER 2012

                                                   RINGING REPORT



During the month the birds ringed were:-


Bob Burridge                           Roger and Helen

Dave Scott                             Estimates only



CHIFFCHAFF                                         50                                                     3

GOLDCREST                                           8                                                   12

REED BUNTING                                     16                                                      1                     

PIED WAGTAIL                                       8                                                       8

WHITE WAGTAIL                                    1               




CHIFFCHAFF          Controlled at SOUTH MILTON LEY showing a Belgium ring.

                                    Full details will follow when more information received.

                                    A first Belgium control for the site.    


CHIFFCHAFF -         EDE368 ringed KITLEY POND YEALMPTON on 5th November                                                              2012 and controlled on SOUTH MILTON LEY on 26th November 2012. A        distance of 12 miles SE in 21 days. 

CHIFFCHAFF -        BUJ254 - Originally ringed  at  SOUTH MILTON LEY on 28th December 2009 and retrapped ther on 29th November 2012.                        





With Helen and Roger ringing at other sites all the activity being undertaken by Bob Burridge with some help from Dave Scott.


Species ringed this month:-


REED WARBLER     -           2 (last a late one on 30th)

SEDGE WARBLER -                       1 (on 14th)

CETTIS WARBLER -           1

CHIFFCHAFF                                   19

REED BUNTING       -           19

PIED WAGTAIL         -           12




REED BUNTING – L781673 ringed 13th October, 2011 at Portland Bill and controlled at South Milton Ley on 15th March 2012.   Wing length 73mm.

REED BUNTING - Y357599 ringed 15th September 2011, controlled 15th March 2012 at South Milton Ley – Wing length 77 mm – indicative of a northern race bird.

REED BUNTING -     X581651 ringed October 2010 at Challacombe Farm Dartmoor – controlled 30th October 2012 at South Milton Ley, obviously a winter visitor having been controlled previously on 25th January, 2011 and 18 March 2011.

REED BUNTING -     Y874852 ringed as a Juv on 26th August 2012 on Thurlestone Marsh, controlled on 8th September, 2012 at Hallsands Devon a distance of 10 miles SE and the next decent reedbed along the coast.











With Helen and Roger away ringing in Portugal from the 2nd so only Bob and Dave have been active.


Before they left their last ringing session on 1st produced the first MARSH TIT to be caught at South Milton Ley for probably 15 years. Throughout the patch this is a scarce bird – all our recent records have been post breeding dispersals.


During the month the ringing totals were:-


BLACKCAP                           4

CHIFFCHAFF                        52          

WILLOW WARBLER              9           

WHITETHROAT                     1

REED WARBLER                  24

SEDGE WARBLER               70

REED BUNTING                     1

MARSH TIT                           1

SWALLOW                         241

SAND MARTIN                     1


Two controls to report – the first one is probably the best for a while

GARDEN WARBLER - Y367280 ringed on 24th August 2011 at South Milton.

Retrapped on 27th May, 2012 at Fair Isle Scotland – 650 miles North.

When caught the bird was making its way back to Africa for the Winter, being controlled on Fair Isle in late May offers possibilities of where it may be summering – Northern Isles or on its way to Scandinavia.


REED BUNTING – Y413022 ringed South Milton Ley on 12th November 2011 controlled at the same site on 2nd May, 2012.






There are no recoveries or controls to report on this month.

Whilst the breeding populations in the marshes were almost all unsuccessful other parts of the country must have fared better as migratory birds started to be caught and ringed.


Species and numbers of birds ringed this month were:-



SWALLOW                 149

GROPPA                       2

REED WARBLER         67

BLACKCAP                     6




WHITETHROAT              5

CHIFFCHAFF                24

REED BUNTING             9




JULY 2012


Because of the poor weather and failure of breeding birds in the Marsh comparatively little ringing undertaken and only Bob B involved.


Birds ringed this month:-


CHIFFCHAFF                        31       


BLACKCAP               6

WILLOW WARBLER            14



Two recoveries/retraps to report.


  1. REED WARBLER X180931 ringed as an adult at South Milton Ley on 9th May 2008 and retrapped there on 12th July 2012
  2. SEDGE WARBLER X708830 ringed at South Milton Ley on 20th July, 2009 controlled at GUNWALLOE, CORNWALL on 11th June, 2010.

May 2012



Because of the poor weather nets have only been out on a few occasions.


Only 7 SEDGE WARBLER ringing – 1 control and 3 retraps.


Some interesting recoveries:-

On 27th Vic T and Eric W found a colour flagged SANDERLING on Yarmer Beach.

Details submitted to JEROEN RENEERKENS in Holland who is the co-ordinator of the SANDERLING ringing project.   He ringed the bird on 13th January, 208 in GHANA.

Last recorded there on 8th March 2008 and returned on 3rd October 2008.

Last observed on 2nd February 2009 still in GHANA.

No further sightings until 27th May in Thurlestone Bay.

Last year AJL had a similar flagged SANDERLING which had been ringed in Portugal.


Details of recoveries either by control at another site or found dead.

Interesting for the number of Warblers moving between 2 adjacent sites in Devon.



Ring No. L477902 26TH June 2011 ringed SLAPTON LEY controlled SOUTH MILTON LEY 12TH July 2011.

Ring No. L478093 10th July 2011 ringed SLAPTON LEY controlled SOUTH MILTON LEY

27TH July 2011

Ring No. L477767 19th June 2011 ringed SLAPTON LEY controlled SOUTH MILTON LEY

10th July 2011.



Ring No. 6446150 17TH Sept 2010 ringed DONGES, LOIRE – ATLANTIQUE FRANCE controlled SOUTH MILTON LEY 14th August 2011.

Ring No. Y367927 22ND August 2011 ringed SOUTH MILTON LEY controlled DONGES LOIRE – ATLANTIQUE FRANCE – travelled 353Km with 6 days.


Interesting that these 2 WARBLERS moved between South Milton Ley and Donges, Loire Atlantique in France.



Ring CJK980 14th April 2009 at SOUTH MILTON LEY found dead on 5th May 2012 LLANRWST, CONWY, WALES







March 2012



Considering nets were put up on only a few days to ring 2 LITTLE BUNTING was remarkable.


Undoubtedly this was due to the generous supply of food which Bob Burridge kept topping up, supplied of course by SOAR MILL SEEDS – if their food keeps our LITTLE BUNTING for almost 3 weeks just think what it could do for your garden.   I have put a direct link out on the blog to their web site.


In addition Bob also managed to ring 18 REED BUNTING and 1 WILLOW WARBLER – quite unusual to ring one in March.


Additionally there were 3 REED BUNTING controls – One from Kitley Pond one from Slapton and

Ring No. : L781673 for which details will be supplied in due course.


Quite a number of retraps and recoveries/controls to write up this month.



Ringed 19th August, 2007 retrapped March 2012..

Ringed 4th February, 2007 retrapped 1st April, 2012.

Both birds appear to have remained at South Milton Ley or visited each winter.



Ring No. LO14743 ringed on 27th July, 2010 at Icklesham East Sussex.

Controlled at South Milton Ley on 7th May, 2011.



Y240741 – 14th August, 2011 controlled 19th August, 2011 - Ringed South Milton Ley and controlled Slapton Ley

Y240739 - 14th August, 2011 controlled 19th August, 2011 - Ringed South Milton Ley and controlled Slapton Ley

Y240327 – 31st July, 2011 controlled 13th August, 2011 – Ringed South Milton Ley and controlled Slapton Ley.

Y240178 – 30th July, 2011 controlled 5th August, 2011 – Ringed South Milton Ley and controlled Slapton Ley.



Y240016 – 24TH July, 2011 controlled 3rd September 2011 – Ringed South Milton Ley and controlled at Slapton Ley.

Y240005 – 24th July, 2011 controlled 31st July 2011 – Ringed South Milton and controlled at Slapton Ley.

V859918 – 6th July, 2007 controlled 3rd July, 2011 – Ringed South Milton and controlled at Slapton Ley

T760780 – 11th June, 2006 controlled 7th May, 2011 – Ringed as Adults and controlled almost

5 years later both at South Milton Ley.

The last two are interesting – pity they did’nt have a milometer attached.



L888942 – 2nd July, 2011 controlled 31st July, 2011 controlled 31st July, 2011 – Ringed South Milton controlled at Slapton Ley.

L014743 – 27th July, 2010 at Icklesham controlled 27th June, 2011 at South Milton Ley



T760720 – 8TH August, 2005 retrapped 9th April, 2011 at South Milton Ley – just short of 6 years after being ringed as a juvenile










Very few days where nets could be set up resulted in a total of 30 birds of 13 species, this included a female BLACK REDSTART.


During month details of 3 recoveries received from the BTO

2 from ICKLESHAM in Sussex and 1 from BARROW IN FURNESS, Cumbria.



Ring No: DXK 205

Ringed on 3rd July 2011 at South Milton Ley.

Controlled on 26th September 2011 at ICKLESHAM, Sussex.

A distance of 327 Km ENE.


SEDGE WARBLER                   

Ring No. Y240394                      

Ringed  3rd August 2011 at South Milton Ley

Controlled  on 3rd September 2011 at ICKLESHAM Sussex.

A distance of 327Km ENE in 31 days.                                                  .



Ring No. L513168.  

Ringed on 9th August 2010 at South Milton Ley.

Controlled on 10th July, 2011 at South Walney Barrow in

Furness, Cumbria.                                             

A distance of 421 Km N.


A bird most probably breeding in Cumbria having been

Ringed the previous year en route back to Africa.

This is the second bird to be controlled at the South

Walney site in Cumbria.







A total of 37 birds ringed representing 9 species, included


REED BUNTING                 -                       11

CHIFFCHAFF                      -                       11

BLACKCAP                         -                       1


Additional 21 birds retrapped representing 10 species including






SEDGE WARBLER    -    Ring No. Y093499                                        

 Ringed on 30th July 2011 at Nanjizal, Cornwall.

 Controlled on 5th August, 2011 at South Milton Ley.     

Bird had travelled 134KM E in 6 days.                        



FIRECREST    -        Ringed at South Milton Ley 20th November 2011 and retrapped there on 11th January, 2012.


Surprising not seen in between.