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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Fieldwork January 2020

Weather forecast

Saturday – strong winds
Sunday – less wind with rain

Recce and plan for the weekend

The original plan for the weekend, based on the timings for high tide and sunrise, was resighting on Saturday morning, mist netting on Saturday evening and a cannon net attempt on Sunday morning. However, the weather forecast soon made it clear that mist netting was not going to be an option for Saturday evening so a second plan was made which included a cannon net attempt on the rising tide on Saturday afternoon.

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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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Fieldwork October 2019

Friday 25 October – Sunday 27 October

The weekend was dominated by the usual complexities of weather with constant changes to the forecast in the week leading up to the field work which presented challenges to the organisers. It was also the weekend of the annual change in time from BST to GMT (why does this happen so often on a Wash weekend?). An additional complication was the Rugby World Cup semi-finals with England playing New Zealand on Saturday morning. With a combination of these factors, it was going to be an interesting weekend . . .

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Fieldwork September 2019

Friday 27 September

The team assembled at the fieldwork base early evening and were treated to a supper of baked potatoes with vegetables followed by blackberry and apple crumble and custard. After supper Lucy gave a briefing outlining the options for the weekend. There was no catching option for Saturday morning due to the tide so it was agreed that this would provide a good opportunity for a major resighting effort by the team. Lucy had arrived at the fieldwork base on Thursday evening in order to undertake recces over the Friday tides. Lucy had around 1,000 Oystercatchers on the rising tide along Heacham beach on Friday evening which provided a good option for a catch on Saturday evening. There was also the option of a Turnstone catch on Heacham North North beach. Lucy and the team had several considerations to take into account including Lucy’s limitations on her cannon-net licence, the small size of the team and the less than favourable weather conditions with strong winds forecast for Saturday and rain on Sunday morning.

It was decided to aim for the Oystercatcher catch on Saturday evening, partly due the lack of available colour rings for Turnstone, leaving the Turnstone catch for a weekend later in the season when we could also add colour rings to the birds caught. Teams were agreed for the resighting on Saturday morning and the team enjoyed a reasonably early night.

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