This was the first field trip of 2018 for the Wash Wader Ringing Group and was the first cannon net catch by the group since September 2017. This was an extremely experienced team, with four cannon net licensees (plus one trainee,) as well as several ringers with considerable experience of both cannon netting and mist netting waders with the group. Sophie and Alyce had each been to one mist net catch previously and only Ellie was completely new to wader ringing with the group (although she had done some wader ringing with another group).
Friday 22 September
The weekend began, somewhat unusually, with a mist nesting session on Terrington Marsh. This required a small number of people to arrive at the fieldwork house mid-afternoon to set the nets on the marsh ready for the evening catch. Two lines of nets were set, one on the E-pool and the second on the cannon-netting pool, with Ron and Nigel leading the respective teams.
Saturday 19 August
The autumn Wash week began with the combined Norfolk and Lincolnshire teams convening at the Norfolk fieldwork house on Saturday afternoon. This followed some uncertainty as to whether the planned mist netting session would be able to go ahead based on weather predictions. A recce at Gedney had taken place earlier in the afternoon with glow light markers in place for finding the way across the marsh at night. With the go-ahead agreed, the team headed off to bed for a very early start the following morning.
The WWRG Spoonie team members are now on their way back from China. They sent two more updates before they left:
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!
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.