It was good to be back…

Our third week started with the next aerial count; this one was setting out from Cape May at 08:00 hrs. We were all on site on time and got some counts done before the plane came over at the expected time. Strangely, the plane didn’t do the second pass over Mispillion, which is the usual protocol. There were good numbers of Knot on Back Beach, so the Mispillion count team stayed out to resight there, as did the Brock team, while Cathy and Lys went out to trap the PIPLs at Fowler’s. With relatively good resighting in Mispillion through the day there were three boat trips, with the last crew leaving when it started to get dark – the rest of us ate our frittata before they got back!

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WWRG: back in the Bay

So it’s three years since the WWRG team last came out to Delaware. Back then we bought our plane tickets and booked cars early as we were sure we would be coming over – then the World shut down… The only good thing was we got most of the costs of the flights and cars back. Into lockdown and virtually no fieldwork – it’s been a rough two years in many ways and we are still not out of the woods now – but we’re very grateful for vaccinations. This year we had to do supervised Covid tests and are living in a ‘bubble’ in a separate house – although we can use the basement of Penguin Manor to go and do data entry, but there is not too much of that yet.

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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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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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Fieldwork November / December 2019

Recce and plan for the weekend

The good news for the team was that, for once, the weather gods seemed to be on our side with a forecast of sunshine, low temperatures and little wind. Plans were therefore put in place for a full weekend with a cannon-net catch attempt on Saturday morning, mist netting on Saturday evening and a possible second cannon-net attempt on Sunday.

The first part of any field work weekend is for a recce to be undertaken to determine the options for catching. Lizzie and Ryan kindly offered to do the recces on Snettisham and Heacham beaches, arriving at the fieldwork base on Thursday evening for an early start on Friday morning. Cathy not only made the trip to meet Lizzie and Ryan at the base on Thursday afternoon to deliver the keys but also stayed to cook for them before returning home which was greatly appreciated.

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