Spoonie team heads home

The WWRG Spoonie team members are now on their way back from China. They sent two more updates before they left:

Spoonie being examined.

Guy examining a Spoonie.

8 October update: We were up again not long after midnight and out on the shore, setting mist nets as the tide ran off. We set two lines of nets and started to catch, largely Red-necked Stint but also a Spoonie and a Relict Gull. Over 70 birds were caught in total and lots of samples were taken for the Centre for Disease Control team. A small team headed back to the hotel to collect more people, breakfast and telescopes while the rest finished processing the birds and headed over to the lagoon, only to discover they had left one team member on the seawall!

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Spoonie team update

The Spoonie team reports:

5 October updates: A day of resighting and recceing to find catching sites. We found little at the local site but 50 thousand small waders and probably another 20 thousand large waders at Taiozini, where we also saw four species of heron in one view, Black-eared Kite, Little Tern, White-winged Black Tern and Caspian Tern to name a few. More to the point, we had very good numbers of Spoonies to scan, although the wind made it very difficult to read any leg flags. Back to catching tomorrow, hopefully setting both cannon net and whoosh net.

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WWRG goes east to help ‘Spoonies’

Since the early days of the Group, as well as catching waders locally, WWRG members have travelled all over world to assist with wader ringing projects and to provide training to other ringers; an important way in which we can help wader conservation. Many ringers from other countries have also been trained by WWRG members on the Wash. The map shows where WWRG members have travelled to (maroon) and where other ringers have travelled from to train with us (green); where both categories apply, the country is coloured blue.

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Recent recoveries

We recently received some reports that birds ringed by WWRG had been seen or found elsewhere. Click on the points on the map below to see the details of the birds reported abroad.

Waders

Sanderling (BT06289) ringed as an adult at Heacham, Norfolk on 20 March 2011 was found dead on the tide line at Snettisham, Norfolk on 19 August 2017.

Curlew (FH81484) was ringed as an adult at Snettisham, Norfolk on 20 September 2016 and found dead on the tide line at Snettisham, Norfolk on 19 August 2017.

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Fieldwork August 2017 – Norfolk

Saturday 19 August

Some of the team gathered Saturday afternoon in the hope of getting the week off to a good start with some early mist-netting at Gedney on Sunday morning. There was some doubt due to concerns about the weather, but with some final checks on the wind forecast the decision was made to go ahead. A recce team went out to look at the marsh in daylight to see where to set nets and put out poles. After dinner that included an excellent Pear Upside-Down Cake from Lizzie, Lucy gave the first briefing welcoming everyone and explaining the house-keeping, rules etc (trialling the newly-written notes on how to run a Wash trip). Guy arrived with Victoria, the co-ordinator of the WWRG trips to Delaware Bay, who had just flown in from the States; everyone was pleased to welcome her to the Wash.

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Recent recoveries

We recently received some reports that birds ringed by WWRG had been seen or found elsewhere.

Waders

Sanderling (NT88726) ringed as an adult at Heacham, Norfolk on 10 September 2010 was identified by its colour rings in:

  • Setúbal, Portugal (1,739 km away) on 8 November 2012.
  • Setúbal, Portugal (1,739 km away) on 15 February 2013.
  • Santarém, Portugal, 1,732 km away, on 23 February 2013.
  • Norður-Þingeyjarsýsla, Iceland, 1,764 km away, on 30 May 2014.

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Fieldwork – July 2017

The team assembled at the field house on Monday evening for a rather unusual mid-week weekend Wash trip. We were all confused by the days, constantly referring to Friday, Saturday and Sunday rather than Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The main aim of the weekend was to make a Sanderling catch with a second catch of Bar-tailed Godwit and Curlew if possible.

Rob P had undertaken a recce on Sunday morning and had located 150 Sanderling and 200+ Oystercatcher at high tide on Snettisham beach. Dave K had undertaken a further recce on Monday morning and had found 500 Sanderling on Snettisham beach. Dave had also looked at the fields behind Snettisham pits, where we had made a good catch of Bar-tailed Godwit and Curlew last summer. A small number of Curlew and 2 Black-tailed Godwit were the only birds present. No birds were found on Ken Hill.

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