IWSG: Where the waderologists of the world can find like-minded wader-people!

The International Wader Study Group (IWSG) is a world-wide organisation with over 450 members who are interested in learning more about waders (or shorebirds for those outside of Europe) from the birds themselves and from collaborating with others. With the closing date for the next IWSG conference coming up, Katharine Bowgen gives some background to the group and to their conferences. The next conference will be held in September 2024 in Montpellier, France. Bookings for the conference close on 16 June and the abstract submission deadline is 17 July. For more details on the next conference, see the conference information on the IWSG website.

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Delaware 2024: 26 May – 1 June

Sunday 26 May

On the first day of week three in Delaware, Rob Rob, Chantal, Katharine and Kirsty left for Philadelphia to begin their journey home to the UK. They made the most of their last morning however, squeezing in one more resighting visit to Mispillion Harbor!

On their way to Osprey via Cedar Beach with Flo, a new volunteer got stuck in the deep mud. Showing their quick thinking and fantastic team strength, the Brits rallied together to undertake a quick and effective two-pronged rescue with help coming by boat and car/foot. Well done all!

Not many flags were spotted in Mispillion, it would seem many shorebirds were already migrating northwards. There is also the thought that more are heading to feed in New Jersey, where there are areas for roosting closer to the feeding sites. The evening harbour survey was cancelled due to an approaching storm, but this did not stop Ryan and Guy from cooking up an epic meal on the BBQ.

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Delaware 2024: 19-25 May

Sunday 19 May

Our second week in Delaware began warm and sunny and everyone made a great effort to survey the beaches over the morning. Two Mispillion surveys were completed as usual and, after the afternoon boat trip, Nigel, Richard, Guy and Ema returned very happy with lots of flag resightings. Poor Graham, however, did not have such joy on Osprey. Nigel and Richard had found there to be a decent number of Sanderling still on Back North and so began planning a catch.

Many more rings were opened throughout the day in anticipation of a big forthcoming catch. Ryan and Flo baked veggie lentil lasagna, using layered potatoes instead of pasta (which surprisingly worked very well!) and a couple of batches of flapjack – this really didn’t last long, 24hrs at most!

Nigel led a thorough evening team talk to go over plans for a Back North catch the next day.

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Delaware 2024: 11-18 May

Saturday 11 May

After an early start and two relatively smooth flights, eight of the WWRG team members made it to Philadelphia airport. There we met Katharine and Ema and began our drive down to Delaware. All buzzing to be back, except Chantal, who was even more excited as it was her first time on the project! This year we are on Slaughter Beach again, based in one large house with a smaller one nearby for extra sleeping space. Once everyone had paid a long-awaited visit to Mispillion Harbour, Kirsty, Jacquie and Flo made tomato pasta with salad for the jet-lagged, hungry team. Dave joined us for dinner and there was much laughter into the evening. This was definitely a happy birthday for Ema (10th May) and Flo (11th).

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Fieldwork April 2024

Friday 12 April

Some team members assembled on the Friday afternoon or evening and enjoyed a relaxed evening.

Saturday 13 April

More team members joined us on the Saturday ready to do some maintenance work and to get ready for the evening mist-netting. With the forecast suggesting the breeze would remain, after discussion we decided on a limited mist-netting session on the White Barn Inner Pool only.

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