Fieldwork November 2018

Friday 23 November

Prior to the weekend, the plan had changed allowing for a relaxing Friday evening, which is when the majority of the team arrived and had a delicious dinner and dessert, thanks to the cooks. Mist netting had been determined not to be possible due to the time of tide (too early) and the fullness of the moon (too bright).

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Curlew and winter weather

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.

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Oystercatcher Recoveries in 2018

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.

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Fieldwork October 2018

Friday 26 October

A Friday morning recce of Snettisham Beach was carried out by Cathy who arrived earlier on Thursday. Approximately 1,000 each of Knot and Oystercatcher were seen roosting on the beach at high tide.

The rest of the team arrived Friday afternoon to discuss plans for the weekend. The weather forecast, with moderate to strong onshore winds, was unsuitable for cannon netting on Saturday so no nets were set.

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Fieldwork August 2018

Norfolk

Saturday 11 August

An early start to the trip for Rob, Cathy and Kathryn as they recced on Saturday morning and reported lots of Sanderling (1,000+) on Snettisham and Oystercatchers on Heacham beaches, with Curlew in fields inland from Heacham (Island camping club, 14 seen, three of which were flagged, with two readable). A Sanderling catch was planned for Sunday morning which would be set just after high tide on Saturday evening. A 17:30 meal gave time for additional recces prior to a 19:45 setting. Lucy gave the first team talk of the trip at 18:00 then the team headed out. Four nets were efficiently set before the rain started and the team were back at the base house by 22:00 for a pre-catch briefing.

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