If there is one preoccupation that unites the British above all others, it is discussion of the weather. The variable dominance of arctic maritime, polar maritime, polar continental, tropical maritime and tropical continental air masses cause rapid and variable changes in weather (and much conversation). Wind and rain can severely curtail fieldwork undertaken by the group; consequently following online weather predictions is fast becoming a collective obsession. The cold, snowy spell last year (22 February – 5 March) was so unusual that the press dubbed it ‘The Beast from the East’. This cold wave was officially named ‘Anticyclone Hartmut’, and brought widespread, unusually low temperatures and heavy snowfall to large areas. It combined with Storm Emma, which made landfall in southwest England and southern Ireland on 2 March. A milder repeat episode dubbed the ‘Mini-Beast from the East’ occurred on the weekend of 17 March 2018.Continue Reading →
Oystercatcher is the species for which the Wash Wader Ringing Group receives the most recoveries (birds seen or recaught away from the original place of ringing) each year. Of the 45 reports received from the BTO in 2018, 22 were of birds reported in the Britain & Ireland with the other 23 being reported broad. The majority of these were of birds ringed by WWRG and recovered elsewhere but eight were birds that were ringed elsewhere and recaught (or resighted) by WWRG; three of the eight had been ringed in Britain & Ireland whilst the other five were ringed abroad.Continue Reading →
Wednesday 11 July
The trip started early for Cathy and Tim who met the plumber who had come on Wednesday to improve the flushing rate of loos – it seems to have worked well. Cathy then took the opportunity to do the shopping for the weekend and started cleaning on Thursday, with more cleaning on Friday (it now looks like we have a new oven).
Friday 9 March
The team assembled at the base house from 18:00 to prepare for a full day of fieldwork attempting to re-encounter marked birds on the East shore of the Wash. The preceding week had seen ‘the Beast from the East’ visit the East coast of England. This extremely cold weather front gave Lincolnshire and Norfolk arctic temperatures and the worst snow storms since 1987, which caused widespread disruption. Concerns were raised before the fieldwork session that wader casualties on the Wash could be extensive, and a plan was made to walk the tideline to search for casualties and retrieve any rings. Circlip pliers are a useful item to have in the pocket for such occasions, and the team left prepared the next day.
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.