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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The Norwegian Connection: a tale of two journeys

One of the most visible birds on The Wash beaches must be the Oystercatcher. With its distinctive black and white plumage, orange bill and strident ‘kleep’ call, it’s certainly hard to miss! But where do ‘our’ Oystercatchers go when they leave The Wash? The map summarises the international movements of ‘our’ Oystercatchers – the red triangles are birds ringed abroad and found on The Wash, the blue dots are birds we ringed that were found abroad. It is clear that there is a really strong connection between The Wash and Norway – which is where most of the Oystercatchers wintering on The Wash go to breed. Most of these reports are of metal-ringed birds but, in recent years, we and other groups have used colour marks and tags to track movements in greater detail, and these sometimes produce very rapid feedback.

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Fieldwork February 2022

Thursday 17 February

In anticipation of the coming Storm Eunice, Kirsty arrived at the base late afternoon, opened up and replaced the dripping tap glands. Lizzie and Ryan arrived later in the evening after collecting keys from Cathy. Plans were made for recces in the morning, provided it did not look too windy.

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