Anyone with an interest in our work is welcome to come to our fieldwork and join in. We aim to get a good mix of experienced and less experienced participants and to achieve this may need to limit numbers attending. Ringers under the age of 16 will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult and, in line with BTO policy, we require a parental consent form completing for anyone under 18. Newcomers are asked to provide a brief resume of their ornithological/ringing experience.
If you would like to come, please get in touch with us via our enquiries address: enquiries ‘AT’ wwrg.org.uk
The group aims to visit the Wash and catch waders throughout the year, subject to there being suitable tides.
Winter – Weekend visits are arranged approximately once a month, with additional single tide visits for mist netting. Cannon netting is usually on the east Wash beaches or at sites in the Terrington area. Mist netting is normally at Terrington. Most commonly caught species are Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Sanderling, Turnstone, Grey Plover, Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit and Knot.
Summer – Longer visits are arranged during the peak autumn passage period. These make use of opportunities to catch flocks roosting on the saltmarsh and harvested arable fields. During these visits there are often two separate teams. Cannon netting is the main catching technique but mist netting is often used on one or two evenings if it is dark enough. Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and Ringed Plover are additional species to those listed above which are frequently caught on these visits. The mist netting sessions often catch a greater variety of species, including gulls, the occasional duck, and Curlew Sandpiper.
|January||13th-15th||Friday to Sunday||Assemble Friday evening. Cannon netting, mist netting, and colour-ring resighting.|
|January||27th-29th||Friday to Sunday||Assemble Friday evening. Colour-ring resighting on the two morning tides. Mist netting Saturday evening.|
|March||10th-12th||Friday to Sunday||Assemble Friday evening. Cannon netting and colour-ring resighting.|
|June||23rd-25th||Friday to Sunday||Assemble Friday evening. Equipment maintenance and possible cannon netting for summering Knot. AGM during the weekend.|
|July||24th-26th||Monday to Wednesday||Autumn Passage
Assemble Monday – volunteers also needed to recce on Monday morning tide. One team, aiming to cannon net passage Sanderling and Curlew.
|August||19th-26th||Saturday to Sunday||Autumn Passage
Assemble Saturday daytime. First catching expected to be mist netting Sunday morning. Various opportunities for cannon netting, mist netting and colour-ring resighting throughout the week.
It is not expected that a catching attempt will be made on every tide.
Last catch mist netting Saturday evening. Departure Sunday.
|September||22nd-24th||Friday to Sunday||Assemble Friday daytime for mist netting Friday evening – volunteers also needed to recce on Friday morning tide. Other tides mist netting, cannon netting and colour-ring resighting. Last catch mist netting Sunday evening at Gedney.|
|October||6th-8th||Friday to Sunday||Assemble Friday evening. Colour-ring resighting on the two morning tides.
Mist netting Saturday evening.
|November||17th-19th||Friday to Sunday||Assemble Friday evening. Mist netting both Saturday morning and evening tides. Colour-ring resighting on Sunday morning.|
Additional Mist Netting Sessions
Extra mist netting sessions may happen when there are suitable tides. Potential dates are listed below. Whether a session will take place is dependent on weather, availability of leaders and level of interest shown. Anyone interested is asked to make this known via enquiries ‘AT’ wwrg.org.uk at least one week in advance.
|March||4th||Saturday||Evening tide mist netting.|
|April||1st||Saturday||Evening tide mist netting.|
|April||30th||Sunday||Evening tide mist netting.|
|July||28th||Friday||Evening tide mist netting.|
|September||18th or 19th||Monday or Tuesday||Morning tide mist netting on one or other day.|
|October||21st & 22nd||Saturday & Sunday||Evening tide mist netting on either or both days.|
|November||19th||Sunday||Evening tide mist netting if weather affects catching attempt on 18th.|
|December||2nd||Saturday||Morning tide mist netting.|
The Group is now colour-marking four wader species (Turnstone, Grey Plover, Curlew & Bar-tailed Godwit) and fieldwork may include devoting time to looking for colour-ringed birds where this is mentioned above.We will aim to catch on the other tides, subject as usual to weather and recces.
Volunteers are required to look for colour-marked birds at times other than during the Group’s main Fieldwork Programme. Jen Smart is co-ordinating this and if you are willing and able to help with this please contact her via sightings ‘AT’ wwrg.org.uk. Members wishing to help with a mist netting session and look for colour mark resighting the following morning will normally be able to stay at the Group’s base overnight.
A charge is made to cover the cost of food and running expenses including rings. In 2017, prices will be £7 per tide / catching attempt attended (reduced to £3.50 when attending for a single tide and not taking advantage of the food / accommodation or other facilities provided by the group) including the longer visits in August and September. Car drivers are reimbursed by the group for fuel used whilst ferrying people and equipment about. Families are welcome to bring children and charges for children are by negotiation.
Membership of the Group
Full membership of the Wash Wader Ringing Group is open to anyone at an annual subscription rate of £6 per year (£4 for un-waged persons). Although members will have priority, non-members are welcome to participate in fieldwork but will be asked to become a ‘Temporary Member’ at a charge of £1 per fieldwork visit. A Temporary Member who shortly afterwards becomes a full member will have the charge of £1 deducted from their initial subscription.
Group members receive reports on WWRG fieldwork by email and get updates on the fieldwork programme (e.g. the dates marked as ‘possible’). If you are a member and do not already receive these, please ensure that enquiries ‘AT’ wwrg.org.uk has your email address.