Every BTO ringer who has a current ringing licence has a permit number. Trainee ringers have a permit number of 0000 to start with but when they are able to operate with 'remote supervision' (C permit holder) they get issued with another number . This number then stays with them for the rest of their ringing career. The latest permit number to be issued is currently 5866.
Coming from someone whose ringing permit number is after 5000, seeing data going to ringers with permit numbers below 1000 or even 100 is amazing. After Tony Mainwood qualified for his A permit with number 903, the first bird he ringed was a Blackbird on 31st January 1962. Exactly 50 years on, during a routine ringing session on 31st January 2012 he reached this 50 year 'mile stone' by ringing another Blackbird.
We have 64,249 electronic ringing records for Tony (not including all the ringing he has done with other groups). As he started ringing way before the computerisation of ringing records, his total is actually much much more.
Thanks to Jez Blackburn for the photo.