Saturday, 6 August 2016

Off to a flying start

It was a long day yesterday, for myself my journey started on Thursday 4th when I left home in SW Wales at 6.00pm. We got to Nesseby at about 10:45pm local time and we made the decision to have a lie in. Ou exact location is a few kilometres away from Vadso which can be seen in the very top right sitting on the north shore of the Varanger Fjord. This area is about 550km north of the Arctic Circle

This morning began at a very leisurely 8.00am start and first job was to check the equipment which was delivered by the team at Biotope, as ever our thanks for this! Nets, poles, guys, table, chairs and the all important rings present and correct.  Once loaded into our rather snazzy VW Passat (a super posh model) we headed for the ringing site using the expert driving skills of Dr Colin.  Then came the real work, cutting the 16 new rides and then erecting the nets.  With all the work needed for setting the site up it was 11.45am before we were ready to start catching birds.

The late start would usually count against us but we still managed a respectable 206 new birds of 11 species.  A breakdown can be seen below, along with some of the highlights.

The Bluethroat we caught were nearly all this years juveniles as were most of the other species as well. Their moult was very variable ranging from complete juvenile moult to completed post juvenile moult.

This is a very scruffy Whinchat and the only one caught today. It was in its main moult and had also lost its tail feathers. The habit they like is open scrub grassland with the odd scrub trees scattered around where they like to perch. They are solitary birds and this as far as we know is the first for the area.

The Whinchat had started its main moult including its primary feathers

Red necked Phalarope. Named because in the breeding season on its neck is red.

Ruff.  Still a beautiful bird even in juvenile plumage.

One of the highlights for today was a Control Brambling originally ringed in Sweden. Again we believe this is the first foreign control for the site. We are not being greedy but Swede like another one!

Tomorrow will be our first full day of ringing, so an early start beckons.  As well as operating our nets in the areas of willow scrub, we'll be looking at our options for waders along the shoreline.  When we arrived this morning several hundred birds including Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Little Stint, Dunlin and Redshank were feeding just a few feet away from the car.

Number Caught
Reed Bunting
Meadow Pipit
Willow Warbler
Sedge Warbler


  1. We always get a few Sam but that was a good score. We had some nice birds, mostly juveniles. Meadow Pipits seem to increase in numbers as the days go on in previous years, so we will wait and see.

  2. Petra & Frank parked up at Ekkeroy and we are at Klubbernes car park just outside Vestre as No longer overnight camping at Nesseby. 3hour limit to parking there too so what time is best to drop in and see you all? Lee & Bernadette