Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Are you interested in Bird Ringing?

We are now in a position that we can take on new trainee ringers.

We are active at a range of sites in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire, including:  
  • Cwm Clydach RSPB Reserve where we have a long running project re-trapping adult pied flycatchers that aims to collect high quality data on between year survival rates;
  •  Penclacwydd (WWT Llanelli) where we run a Constant Effort Site (collecting a standardised data set as part of a UK-wide initiative aimed at analysing change in bird populations);
  • Oxwich Marsh National Nature Reserve (where we catch large numbers of migrant warblers, swallows and finches and are active throughout the year); and
  • Margam Park (where our captures regularly include species that forage in open grassland habitats such as mistle thrush and green woodpecker).
The variety of habitats at the sites we visit, and the commitment of members of the Group to ensure that sessions are run regularly provides trainees with the opportunity to study a wide variety of birds in the hand and to steadily improve their skills.

We are a very active, friendly group with a varied demographic, and include university students / researchers, ecological consultants, site wardens and representatives of Gower Ornithological Society, as well as people with a more general interest in birds and other wildlife who work / have worked outside the conservation sector. 

We would note that to make progress towards a licence you need to attend most weeks (and aim for every week), and you need to be able to drive and have access to a car. Early starts are a fact of ringing life unfortunately; arrival on site at 05:30 is typical in the mid-summer. 

A reasonable level of physical fitness is needed, particularly for the pied flycatcher work, while an ability to identify birds is always an advantage (albeit this can be taught to a large degree). We ring on both weekdays (morning and evening) and weekends, so a full time job does not preclude your attending sessions.

If you would think you would like to get involved, just leave your contact details in a comment at the bottom of the page and we will get back to you with further information.

A few pictures of birds captured in 2016 are below.

Gower Ringing Group

Water rail. We captured three of this species in 2016.

Jack snipe. We have captured 23 individuals at the marsh since late 2014. We have now proven between winter site fidelity from retrap data.

Yellow-browed warbler. In 2016 we caught 16 different individuals, including nine in one session.

Firecrests. A scarce migrant in October and November. We capture 3-4 per year.

A genuine Welsh rarity. A little bunting captured in October 2016.


  1. Cathy cheerfulcathy.cc@gmail.com 01792 920916

  2. I am very interested in learning to ring and would love to be involved with your group. My email is kirstyf14@hotmail.co.uk

  3. I'd love to get involved! My email is sjedwards94@hotmail.co.uk

  4. Hi! I would love to get involved in this. My contact details are:
    Joanne Conway
    Phone: 07854635235
    Email: conwayjl92@gmail.com

  5. Myself and my partner would love to become involved with ringing. We've been birding for a few years now. I did an internship on Ramsey Island with the RSPB and we have both assisted with ringing Manx shearwaters.

    We are Lizzie and Jamie on 07895259040 or lizziekhobbs@gmail.com

    We live in Reynoldston, so the Oxwich marsh location is ideal for us. We do have a car so we can get to the other locations too and early starts are no stranger to us (in fact they're ideal as we both work full time).

    Would love to hear back from you. Many thanks!

  6. Yes! Katieadix1@aol.com 07768825313

  7. Matt Joyce - mjoyce2@hotmail.co.uk

  8. Hello I would love to get involved.

    My contact is Ashingler89@gmail.com or 07823447266.

    Looking forward to hearing back from You!


  9. Would love to get involved! Wanda O'Connor - wanoconnor@gmail.com - 07479501120.

  10. Hello! I would love to get involved with ringing. Please let me know if you need anymore details from me: BrooksES@cardiff.ac.uk, tel: 07837601511, thank you!

    1. hi Libby
      did you get my email

  11. Hi! I would really love to get involved. I have some ringing experience abroad and I am looking for opportunities to continue this in the UK. eleanor.huckle@googlemail.com 07787771098

  12. Hi! I would love to get involved! I have some experience ringing in Europe, but I am looking for opportunities to continue this in the UK. My contact details are eleanor.huckle@googlemail.com 07787771098

  13. Hello! My name is Bethan Dalton, my email is bethandalton@live.co.uk. I'm also interested in getting involved, so I look forward to hearing from you.

  14. Hi there!

    I would also like to hear more about it and get involved. My contact details are:

    Alex McCubbin

    Thank you!

  15. I would love to get involved;
    My name is Barrie Gardiner; I'm a wildlife artist and I've been a keen birder all my life - I attended an introduction in bird ringing course last year at Parc Slip ; really enjoyed it and would like to continue.
    My email address is;
    Best regards,

  16. Hi, I'd love to join the ringers. I have some experience overseas, email is ClarkES14@cardiff.ac.uk
    Emma Clark

  17. Hello,

    I am registered with a trainer elsewhere but have recently moved to the area and would be keen to join you. My email address is zoedeakin@yahoo.co.uk.

    Many thanks,


  18. Hi,

    I would like to be involved, my email address is YoungRE1@cardiff.ac.uk.