Sunday, 14 August 2011

Wader Trip

Having had very little experience with waders, I have over the years tried to go on a few trips to increase my ability, but to date I have only experienced 1 Redshank, 1 Curlew, 2 Snipe and a Common Sandpiper!  The last two species of which I actually ringed locally by chance and the first two where the result of a long weekend targeting waders in the Wash.

So when Gary asked if I wanted to join him on Friday going wader ringing with the Swale Ringing Group on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent I jumped at the chance, although wasn't expecting much after my last few experiences!  So Gary, Helen and myself drove over to north Kent to meet up with the other eight people who were taking part and then split into three groups to man the different pools that were being worked on the marsh.

The wind was stronger than had been predicted and looking at the billowing nets I feared another negative evening.  Although the setting was great as we waited for high tide, lying on the edge of the marsh waiting to see movement in the net under a balmy, partly moonlit night with the only noises being the various groups of waders and the faint sound of music from a wedding reception nearby! 

At about 11.30pm (an hour and a half before high tide), we caught our first bird - a Grey Plover (below top - in amazing summer plumage), which was shortly followed by two more and a retrap Greenshank (below bottom).
definitely 'Black-bellied Plover'
By just before 1am we had caught 11 birds which included three more Grey Plover, three Bar-tailed Godwit (below top and middle) and two Whimbrel (below bottom)! What a fantastic hour and a half.

standing before take-off
When we got back together with the two other groups we had caught nearly half the birds, but the other groups had caught a couple of other species in the form of a retrap Redshank and four Dunlin (below).
So, in total 24 birds were caught of which two were retraps and I got to ring and experience five new species.  A big thank you to Gary for inviting me and to Rod and the rest of the Swale Ringing Group for providing such a great evening.  I did not mind at all that I had done a full days work and then didn't get home until just after 4 in the morning!!  Well worth it!

No comments:

Post a Comment