Southern Colour Ringing Group


Barry Williams and the two Keiths are getting in on the act this week with Jackdaw pulli starting and Barry getting one in the garden!

Final visit to Netherhall to complete the Little Egret ringing. Two bonus Grey Heron were ringed as well. All birds processed and returned safely. One bird was found on the floor and appeard not to be in full health probably falling out of the tree before ready to fledge. We put it back up near a nest in the hope an adult may come back to feed it.

Little Egret chicks 2019 May 017 copy

Little Egret chicks 2019 May 011 copy


We made our second visit to Walthamstow Wetlands today to cover the best period for Egrets. There was a real mix of ages with some large fledged birds and still some nests with eggs. It was also noted that there was a higher than normal mortality with a lot of dead young many quite small. We assume the cold and wet weather two weekends ago probably was a big problem for these small chicks and there were at least 4 full broods with dead young around 3 to 4 days old and three dead young that were quite large and clearly had been blown out of nests or tree tops. Many of the nests that had fledged two to four young also had one dead young (probably the smallest bird in the brood) so in terms of the success for this year despite rigning 29 young Egrets today it is in reality from 30 nests quite a poor total..Huge thanks again to the London Wildlife Trust and in particular Charlie and Nadia who came out and helped ringing Egrets and climbing trees as well as sorting the boat out. Great team effort by all attending.




The aim of the Southern Colour Marking Group is to study various species of bird using colour marking in London, Essex and Hertfordshire. We do this by catching the birds using a cannon net, a technique requiring a special licence, or finding nests of breeding birds and marking the young in the nest.

Birds captured using cannon nets are extracted from the net before being marked with individually numbered metal leg rings. Whilst ringing the birds, we take measurements and study plumage characteristics. As many birds as possible are marked with a colour mark (either leg ring or wing tag) which can be read with a telescope without the bird being recaptured.


Here are links to other related websites:

Brent Goose Colour Marking 

South England Kite Group

Essex Wildlife Trust

London Wildlife Trust

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

If you know of a website that we have missed, please contact us.

Bird ringing in Britain is licensed and coordinated by The British Trust for Ornithology. Bird ringing in Europe is coordinated by EURING.

A catalogue of colour ringing projects throughout Europe is voluntarily maintained by Dirk Raes at European colour-ring Birding.


The group operates with the excellent support and cooperation of The Essex Wildlife Trust at Blue House Farm which operates the nature reserve and allows access for Brent Goose catching. The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and the London Wildlife Trust allow us to access sites in the Lee Valley Park for Heron and Egret work. Richard Bott kindly allows access to woodland on the Bott Estate for Red Kite monitoring.

We are grateful to the Essex Birdwatching Society and Essex Field Club for providing funding for the colour ringing programme for Brent Geese, London Wildlife Trust for Herons and Jenny Weston at the RSPB for support with Red Kite wing tagging.

We also acknowledge financial support from Merlin Ringing Supplies.


Header images on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons license by the photographers

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