Fieldwork March 2023 (part 1)

Friday 10 March

Lizzie and Guy braved the freezing winds to recce at first light. Guy walked south from Heacham to view Heacham South beach from one viewpoint, whilst Lizzie walked north from Snettisham car park to check Snettisham and gain a different view of Heacham South. Despite normally being a prime spot for Oystercatchers, only 10 were present close to the usual catching area just south of the tump. Clearly sheltering from the inclement conditions, they were hunkered down amongst the tidewrack at the top of the beach. Guy visited Heacham North, to find another 60 behaving much the same – just 100 m north of the South beach access point. It was noted this was unusual behaviour for the roosting birds, as this area is often very busy with visitors. Guy then went on to Heacham North North beach and found 90 Oystercatchers split into three groups – 60, 20 and 10. Additionally, there were ca. 100 Turnstone, Sanderling and Ringed Plover scattered across the beach. Almost no beach was visible at this point, because of the unusually strong wave action and tide height. Again, the birds were right on the upper edge of the beach along the tidewrack – their behaviour clearly being affected by the strong winds.

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Fieldwork February 2020

Weather forecast:

Storm Dennis!
Saturday – strong winds with showers
Sunday – strong winds with rain

Recce and plan for the weekend

The plan for the weekend was for a cannon-net catch on either Saturday or Sunday morning depending on the findings of the recce team on Friday morning. One of the aims for the weekend was a trial for catching waders on a non-spring tide – the tide heights were considerably lower than those for a normal catching weekend. Mist netting was not an option for the weekend due to the tide heights.

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January resighting weekend

Friday 26 January

A small number of people (four WWRG members and two partners) met at the base house on Friday evening in preparation for an intensive day of colour-ring and flag resighting on Saturday. The focus of the trip was to look for Bar-tailed Godwit with WWRG flags. The group is down on resightings of this species compared to the previous winter, with insufficient sightings to undertake a survival analysis.

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Fieldwork January 2018

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).

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Foreign visitors

Over the last two or three years WWRG has increased its efforts on the resighting of colour-marked birds, recognising that this provides valuable data in terms of the number of recoveries and the information gained on the movements and survival of birds that have been ringed. Previous blogs have outlined the fieldwork undertaken by WWRG in the last quarter of 2017, including colour-ring resighting, particularly the ‘Colour-mark resighting bonanza’ weekend of 6–8 October when 146 sightings of 88 birds were made over three tides.

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