Fieldwork August 2018

Norfolk

Saturday 11 August

An early start to the trip for Rob, Cathy and Kathryn as they recced on Saturday morning and reported lots of Sanderling (1,000+) on Snettisham and Oystercatchers on Heacham beaches, with Curlew in fields inland from Heacham (Island camping club, 14 seen, three of which were flagged, with two readable). A Sanderling catch was planned for Sunday morning which would be set just after high tide on Saturday evening. A 17:30 meal gave time for additional recces prior to a 19:45 setting. Lucy gave the first team talk of the trip at 18:00 then the team headed out. Four nets were efficiently set before the rain started and the team were back at the base house by 22:00 for a pre-catch briefing.

Continue Reading →

Fieldwork July 2018

Wednesday 11 July

The trip started early for Cathy and Tim who met the plumber who had come on Wednesday to improve the flushing rate of loos – it seems to have worked well. Cathy then took the opportunity to do the shopping for the weekend and started cleaning on Thursday, with more cleaning on Friday (it now looks like we have a new oven).

Continue Reading →

Spoonies galore

So our second week started with brunch at 11:00 hrs after a few hours sleep following our first overnight mist-netting session. We headed out to recce/scan the new waterpark (under development) and the rice paddies at Taoizini to look for both mist-netting options for that night on the paddy fields and future canon-netting options on the water park. We set nets on two rice paddies again and had another amazing night with with 299 birds caught including six Spoon-billed Sandpipers (SBS) – amazing. Back to the hotel and bed at dawn this time – strange, we are becoming largely nocturnal, but are also up during the day…

Continue Reading →

WWRG members helping Spoonies

Since the early days of WWRG group members have headed out across the world to help on wader projects elsewhere. This year is no exception and this month group members are part of a team working in Jiangsu on the Yellow Sea in China. The team, working with Nanjing Normal University, is aiming to catch and mark Spoon-billed Sandpipers (SBS) to find out more about where this endangered and charismatic species goes, as well as being able to work out population size. We are also aiming to catch a range of other shorebird species, both to assist local studies and to help train other members of the team.

Continue Reading →

An excellent catch with a bonus bird

Many of us really look forward to our mist-netting sessions for waders as we so love being out on a saltmarsh at night. Setting mist nets on a marsh is spectacular in itself with tall lines of nets stretched across the landscape, but there is nothing to beat the atmosphere when it gets dark. As the light fades and then the tide comes in you start to hear the eerie sounds of waders calling as the water moves them up off the mudflats. If there is enough light you might start to see them flying over the marsh. If you are really lucky, there will also be shooting stars,  phosphorescence as you walk across the marsh (feeling like Gandalf every time you lean on your furling stick), or even fireworks in a nearby town.

Continue Reading →