Wash Wader Ringing Group

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Welcome to the Wash Wader Ringing Group's Web Site

outline map with flying waders



The Group operates with cannon nets and mist nets, around the shores of The Wash in both Norfolk and Lincolnshire, with the main aim of providing a better understanding of the waders (shorebirds) using the Wash. See the link Scientific Aims for more details.



The Group has been operating since 1959 and has built up a large and valuable database for study. Over 260,000 birds have been ringed (banded) in this time. The 2006 - 2007 report details all the known movements to and from The Wash, along with a number of papers written using data gathered at The Wash, and is available from the Group.

The Magic of the Wash - Knot Flock

The magic of the Wash - a large Knot flock bends and twists over the tide edge

Anyone with an interest in our work is welcome to join our fieldwork team. We usually have a good mix of experienced and less experienced participants, and the aim is to get everyone fully involved with all aspects of our work. If you are interested in joining us, or in any aspects of the Groups work contact enquiries@wwrg.org.uk

For an overview of cannon netting and mist netting see How we catch the birds .... Some of our volunteers First Time Impressions .... and a poetic view of what it feels like Catching Curlew

For more information about Ringing in the UK visit the British Trust for Ornithology web site at www.bto.org

All the artwork used on this site has been generously donated by Su Gough and Liz Mackley.

Latest News .....


The development of rocket netting in the late 1960\92s saw a large increase in the numbers of Oystercatchers ringed on the Wash. Birds from this early era have continued, albeit now infrequently, to be found or recaptured, so it seemed only a matter of time before the Oystercatcher longevity record was extended beyond 40 years. When news was received of an Oystercatcher ringed at Snettisham in August 1968 being found, we thought we had finally reached this landmark, but, alas, the corpse of this bird was reported as \91not fresh\92 when found, and so the record could not stand, as the date of death could not be accurately assessed...

...However we only had to wait 3 more months before the 40 year mark was officially reached. We didn\92t know it when we caught this Oystercatcher at Wrangle in July 2010 - since it had been re-ringed in 1987 - but this bird had been ringed, as a nestling back in June 1970 and is still going strong! This bird sets a new British longevity record for Oystercatcher, and in doing so also becomes only the 4th species (and the first wader) from the BTO ringing scheme to be recovered over 40 years after ringing \96 joining Manx Shearwater, Razorbill, and Fulmar.

Colour Ringed Waders - Please email us your sightings

Details of Colour Ringed Birds

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