Stonechat Ringing Project at Dersingham Bog

The colour-ringing project for Stonechats based at the reserve is run in collaboration with Natural England, the BTO, NNRG and other site volunteers. The project aims to survey and colour ring breeding Stonechats on Dersingham Bog and record adults and juveniles seen outside the breeding season, both on the reserve and elsewhere in Norfolk.

We are raising awareness of the project and encourage birders to report sightings of colour-ringed Stonechats.

We’ve already had report of birds born on Dersingham Bog turning up inland at Roydon Common and as far as Thetford Forest, as well as the Wash and North Norfolk coasts so they have already shown they can turn up at considerable distances from their natal site.

The number of breeding pairs of Stonechats on the reserve has risen dramatically in recent years, resulting in high numbers of ringed birds dispersing from the site. 2016 was a very successful season with 13 pairs producing 95 juveniles, all of which were ringed. This follows on from 2015 with 10 pairs producing 51 ringed juveniles.

The colour-ring combination used on all Stonechat nestlings at Dersingham Bog is a grey plastic ring over a metal ring on the right leg, with two colour rings on the left leg. Since breeding numbers have increased, so many young Stonechats have been ringed that the order of the rings on the right leg had to be changed in order to give us more options. So from 2016 onwards, some broods sport a metal ring over a grey plastic ring on the right leg, a reverse of the original order, as well as a variable two colour combination on the left leg.

A new website has just been launched which gives further details of the project and provides an easy way of reporting sightings of colour-ringed birds. https://northwestnorfolkstonechats.wordpress.com/

Another avenue for reporting sightings is via the Twitter feed - twitter.com/NWNfkStonechats or direct via email - mailto: northwestnorfolkstonechats@gmail.com

See also northwestnorfolkstonechats.wordpress.com.