Fieldwork September 2020 – Norfolk

Friday 18 September

Lizzie and Ryan arrived on Thursday evening and were kindly let into the house by Cathy, who joined them for dinner and a catch-up. Richard arrived shortly afterwards, and a plan was made for recces the next morning.

On Friday morning, Guy joined the team and recced the Royal Estate, Richard went over to Holbeach, Ryan recced Ken Hill and Lizzie covered Snettisham and Heacham beaches. The morning was crisp and clear with a light onshore breeze. At Holbeach, 19 Greenshank were on the usual pool, 13 Ringed Plover were found on a field at Gedney and 20 Curlew also on a field at Gedney, with more wanting to join, but they were pushed off by dog walkers. A few Curlew were also present on one of the military targets with a large number of gulls.

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Fieldwork September 2020 – Lincolnshire

There was a maximum of six people in each team at any one time and Covid-19 secure practices worked out for the August trip (see Fieldwork August 2020), and refined for the September trip, were followed at all times.

Saturday 19 September

With half of the Lincolnshire team turning up on Friday night, Saturday morning had been planned as a morning of recces. The plan was to be out 30–40 min before tide, since it was felt unlikely birds would look at fields before then. However, with strong NE wind and wave action, most of the saltmarsh was already under, making it more difficult to follow flocks as they left the marsh.

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Fieldwork August 2020

Background

The Covid-19 pandemic has had and continues to have a significant impact on all our lives. It has affected our health and limited our ability to see friends and family, travel and conduct work as normal. We hope that all WWRG members have remained well over the last six months and stay healthy.

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Re-sighting during the Covid-19 pandemic

The lockdown imposed by the government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic lasted seven weeks during which fieldwork, including ringing and re-sighting, across the UK came to a standstill. WWRG had just completed their winter field work with the final catching weekend of the season having taken place in mid-March. Trips for several members of WWRG to Delaware and to Iceland were cancelled and opportunities for re-sighting on the Wash were all curtailed during the final weeks of spring 2020 as we were all told to stay at home. Garden ringing and local walks (hopefully entered into Birdtrack) became the norm.

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Fieldwork March 2020

Once everyone had assembled on Friday evening (and after a delicious dinner – thanks Ron!), Gary and Lou led the Wash Wader weekend and gave the briefing, making sure to ask everyone to wash their hands regularly with the growing Covid-19 situation. They explained that the aim would be to cannon net a small number of Turnstone on Heacham North North which had been seen during the recce that they had done with Cathy that morning. They’d also seen large flocks of Oystercatchers however as they have been targeted previously, it was decided that the priority would be to colour ring Turnstone. The trailer was packed the night before and the team set their alarms for 04:15.

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