Ringing Code of Practice

The Waveney Ringing Group operates as part of the Waveney Bird Club under the auspices of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). The Ringing Group is registered with the BTO in accordance with clause 2.7 of the Ringers’ Manual. The Group’s geographical area has been fixed to within a 30 km radius of the town of Bungay, which includes the Waveney Valley and its tributaries, but also important sites such as Minsmere. The Group also assists with local special projects outside of the Waveney Valley, for example Suffolk Community Barn Owl Project and Landguard Bird Observatory’s gull study. All ringing procedures, public awareness requirements,health and safety measures, ringing etiquette and the law will be strictly adhered to at all times. It is mandatory that Ringers should be members of the club and in addition pay a Ringer’s supplement of £30 to cover the additional cost of equipment.

Getting Started

Ringing activities are open to all WBC members, but all must abide by the rules of the Ringing Scheme as laid down in the Ringers’ Manual. Any member who wishes to take up ringing should in the first instance gain an understanding of birds’ behaviour and be fairly astute at bird identification. Potential trainees could then be invited to further their knowledge with field experience with a qualified Trainer. An introductory session (see below) will be offered to potential new recruits and if, after a few sessions, they are keen to carry on training, they will need to register with BTO as a trainee. Potential new recruits should be approved by WBC Committee, although the Trainer will have the final say as to whether he/she will take on the training commitment. A registration form (available from BTO HQ) will need to be completed for a Trainer to sign. The initial permit payment will also include a copy of the Ringers’ Manual, which is the guide to all aspects of the Ringing Scheme. At this stage, trainees can also subscribe to Ringing & Migration, the Ringing Scheme’s journal. The cost for 2011 is: £28.75 for your permit plus Ringing & Migration or £20.50 without the journal. Copies of the Ringers’ Manual will be made available at the introductory session. The Trainer will then be responsible for ringing training thereafter. Initially,
ringing tools may be borrowed from members of the Ringing Group or the Trainer but, as training progresses trainees will need to purchase pliers, rulers and other equipment as detailed in the list below.

Progression through the Ringing Scheme

The length of time you will spend as a trainee will depend mostly on the time allocated to attending ringing sessions. Some Ringers within the group have been issued with a “Restricted C” permit, which allows them to ring, for example, Barn Owls and other large nest box occupants unsupervised. In some instances, a “Restricted C” permit can be achieved in a single season. For a general ‘C’ permit, training will continue for at least a year, and generally longer. It is then up to the Trainer to recommend promotion. Lone working is allowed once C-permit status has been achieved, but under the remote supervision of the Trainer who will continue to be responsible for your actions. C-permit holders are expected to run ringing sessions and generally assist with the training effort of the Group.

Your Trainer is not permitted to assess you for progression from C to A permit status. On the recommendation of your Trainer, this can be achieved by attending a session(s) with anindependent A-Trainer or by attending a BTO ringing course.

Introductory Session/Ringing Costs

Any member wishing to start ringing can take advantage of an introductory “taster” session and experience a day’s ringing at a cost of £10. If you do go on to be a ringing member of the club, you will need to pay a £30/annum supplement on your normal annual membership subscription. This is to cover the cost of nets and other ringing equipment. The £10 (already paid) would then be deductedfrom your £30. The rings will be supplied by the club at your introductory session, but thereafter have to be paid for unless the site is part of one of WBC’s approved projects. ’C’ Ringers can purchase rings for their personal use from their Trainer. Periodically, certain gratuities for sundry items used for ringing activities will be requested – e.g. batteries for audio equipment. All expenditure for ringing activities needs to be approved by WBC Council.

Guest Ringers

There will be occasions when guests will be invited to join the Group at ringing sessions. Approval for Guest Ringers must be obtained from WBC’s President, Chairman or Ringing Secretary. It is generally accepted that Guest Ringers will make a contribution to the rings used, but deficits will be met by the club. Guest Ringers are not expected to attend more than two ringing sessions each year.

Equipment Required

Each Ringer is expected to carry:
Ringing box
Ringing pliers no.1’s and no. 2’s
Scales – electronic set or spring balances
Weighing cone and/or various sizes of weighing pots
Short (150mm) and long (300mm) wing rules
Neck clasp – for carrying bird bags
Ringing notebook
Audio equipment – one player and set of speakers per Ringer
Copy of Identification Guide to European Passerines by Lars Svensson (fourth edition 1992)
Rings and other ringing equipment will be supplied by the clubRole of the Ringing Secretary
The Ringing Secretary is responsible for the Group’s most important task and acts as the principal contact with BTO Ringing Unit. He/she is responsible for the swift transfer of data from the Group’s Ringers to the BTO via the IPMR system, organises the ringing sessions, liaiseswith the coordinator regarding our presence and/or any landowner complications and forwardsthe day’s ringing report to all interested parties.

Once keyed into IPMR, ringing statistics gathered during the day will be e-mailed to each of those attending the ringing session.

Role of the Ring Coordinator/Ringing Diary

The Ringing Coordinator will produce a long-term (perhaps quarterly) plan showing when and where ringing activities are likely to take place. Ringing events and ringer’s availability will be noted in an electronic diary, made available through the WBC website and updated every three months. The diary will give the proposed location, start time and duration of each event. The Group will endeavour to ring on a weekly basis and ringers should register their interest in the diary. Please note that weather conditions and other factors may force the cancellation of ringing sessions at short notice. Only those registered will be notified of cancellations or other changes to the event.

Ringing sessions will generally start before dawn and attendees are expected to be present to help with setting up. An alarm clock may therefore be an important part of a Ringer’s equipment. The times of the ringing sessions will be given in advance and, if attendees are
unable to stay for the whole session, then availability should be agreed with the Ringing Coordinator. Ringing sessions will not take place if there are insufficient personnel to manage the site safely. If catching conditions are good, some may wish to extend the ringing session beyond the cut-off time. This can take place provided there’s sufficient coverage and at least one senior ‘C’ Ringer is present to take charge. Those remaining would be responsible for thedismantling of all nets and equipment and returning these to the Ringing Coordinator or delegated person. If attendees are unavoidably delayed in getting to site at the prescribed time or need to cancel attendance at short notice then the Ringer in Charge for that session should be contracted who should in turn confirm that he/she has received your message. The principal contact between the ringing personnel will be by e-mail or text.

WBC Registered Project Sites

SiteLandownerTarget SpeciesCoordinatorComments
Lodge Farm, WesthorpeE.J.BarkerYellowhammerPatrick Barker
Kiln Farm, Gt AshfieldE.J.BarkerYellowhammerPatrick Barker
StustonLinnetIan Archer
BraiseworthRedwingStephen Flory
WeybreadCommon TernRoger Walsh
BarshamB. SucklingYellowhammerSteve Piotrowski
FlixtonG. SayerTree SparrowSteve Piotrowski
BedfieldTree SparrowChris McIntyre
CarltonSWTReed BuntingSteve Piotrowski
MinsmereRSPBAllSteve PiotrowskiPR events only

The Role of the Site Coordinator

The Site Coordinator maintains contact with the landowner and agrees ringing dates, net
positions and all aspects regarding club activities at that site. No one is allowed to ring at any
site without the Coordinator’s agreement.

WBC Projects

The Project Officer is responsible for the safe-keeping of project equipment and rings. Project
equipment and rings should be collected from the Project Officer if he/she is absent from the
ringing session. All rings, equipment and the ringing notebook must be returned to the Project
Officer after the session is completed. The Project Officer is responsible for the swift transfer of
ringing data from the ringing notebook to the Ringing Secretary so that this can be inputted into

Steve Piotrowski
Senior Trainer and Ringer in Charge