Fieldwork March 2022

Friday 4 March

The majority of the team assembled Friday evening with Luke, Tim and Cathy arriving earlier and recceing. Thanks to Cathy who made dinner and once everyone arrived, Richard gave the briefing on what the plan was for the weekend.

Saturday 5 March

The team were up at 05:15 with the aim to start setting at Heacham North North at 06:30. Upon arrival, Richard and team set one full, small mesh net; however, the dropper cable wasn’t working and had to be replaced. With high tide approaching (08:15) and the tide creeping up quickly, the decision was made to lift the net and wait for the falling tide. The tide receded and the team placed the net further down the beach. Richard twinkled and then fired on a small number of Turnstones, Sanderling, etc at 08:45. It was a bit windy, which held the net up. One Turnstone-was colour ringed by Chantal and Elli while Tim was the ring and glue bearer, aka the scrub nurse for this ‘surgery’.

The team moving the net at Heacham North North, by Chantal Macleod-Nolan
Moving the net at Heacham North North, by Chantal Macleod-Nolan

Heacham North North Ringing Totals


Upon returning to the base, the team had lunch (thanks to Luke, Jacquie and Cathy) and heard how Nigel’s recce had gone in the morning: he had seen 1,500 Oystercatchers and 120 Bar-tailed Godwits. Afterwards, the team unloaded the equipment along with preparing the trailer for setting in the evening. A siesta followed for some while other sorted out the catch data. After a delicious dinner was made by Katharine, Molly and Chantal, the team left to set three nets on Heacham South at 08:30 which was after high tide in preparation for tomorrow morning’s high tide.

Sunday 6 March

The team were up at 05:00 and in position by 06:15. Richard was in the hide and, although initially there was no movement up the beach, as the tide started to come in this changed. Oystercatchers were slowly being pushed up the beach and Elli was deployed to do some fantastic twinkling to bring them towards the nets. While the Snow Bunting in the tide wrack was well away from the nets, one of the small-mesh nets was fired at 08:20 to catch a small sample. The highlight was a Stavanger bird (photograph below), which was seen back on its breeding site in the Lofotens just a few days later.

Heacham South  Ringing Totals

Oystercatcher with a colour flag being held against a grey jacket with a blue zip. Photo by Chantal Macleod-Nolan.
Oystercatcher that was ringed and flagged on its breeding grounds in Norway, by Chantal Macleod-Nolan

After returning to the base, the team put the equipment away and enjoyed a pleasant breakfast, before departing.

Totals for the weekend



There were no resightings this weekend.

Trip report written by Chantal Macleod-Nolan.