Delaware 2023: 25 May–4 June

Thursday 25 May

After two full weeks at Slaughter Beach, we were all well into the swing of the Project and another cannon-net catch was planned for midday at Osprey Beach. It was a gusty, chilly morning, but began to warm up and settle down around 09:00, by which point those who joined Shawn for mist-netting in the Ted Harvey woods had been up for many hours! Other activities of the morning included the construction of more exclosures around Piping Plover nests at Fowler Beach.

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Monitoring Bar-tailed Godwits on The Wash

Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica) are large waders which have a wide distribution across several continents. Five subspecies are currently recognised plus a sixth recently proposed as yamalensis (Appleton 2021). Bar-tailed Godwits are long-distance migrants and one subspecies (baueri) makes an incredible non-stop migration from Alaska to New Zealand over the Pacific Ocean lasting many days.

Two populations of Bar-tailed Godwit use The Wash: lapponica breeds from northern Fennoscandia eastwards to western Russia and the Taymyr peninsula and moults on The Wash in autumn, with most birds staying to spend the winter; taymyrensis breeds further east reaching central Siberia and passes through The Wash on migration to its wintering sites, as far south as West Africa.

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