Last weekend I went on a dry run ringing course organised by Jez Blackburn near Great Yarmouth. The idea being to try out the site and accommodation to see how it would work in practical terms if a formal ringing course were held there.
Well, it worked out great in practice. Unusually for the east coast it's sheltered from the east and the main ringing site is wet woodland & scrub. Therefore, ringing's possible most days and there's the beach to whoosh net on. We had mixed weather, but still managed 5/600 birds over the four mornings. As well as the residents, we caught migrant thrushes and finches. Highlight birds were 'northern' Bullfinch, Yellow-browed Warbler, Purple Sandpiper, Woodcock & Snow Bunting. However, my personal highlight was ringing this stonking adult male Common (or 'Mealy') Redpoll. The digs and craic were also good.
The upcoming Ringers' Bulletin should have dates for the first official course in 2011.