Monday, 11 February 2013

Starting The Week With A Bang

I joined members of Morecambe Bay Wader Ringing Group today at the obs as we attempted to cannon net some wintering Sanderling. We had the assistance of the local council Rangers in closing the section of beach off where the waders had been roosting, which was a great help.

 One of the cannons used to fire the net

Setting the net

The operation went like clockwork, but unfortunately we only caught five Sanderlings, three Ringed Plovers and two Turnstones. The Turnstones were fitted with leg flags as as part of our Turnstone project.

The reason for the poor catch was simply that the birds didn't come in. We don't know where the birds were as all the sections of beach, other than the spit we were on, were covered by the tide.  It is likely that the roost was disturbed last Saturday by a car rally along the sea front and the Sanderlings moved off completely. Anyway, it was a first attempt to cannon net at this location and at least we know that it is possible so we intend to target the migrant Dunlin, Ringed Plovers and Sanderlings in Spring. I can't wait for that!

Interestingly one of the Ringed Plovers caught this morning was one of our birds ringed on 5th July 2011 that was ringed as part of a brood of two, and as Ian said to me this evening it's nice to know that it fledged successfully and survived. One of the values of ringing.


Stringer said...

Cannon netting eh.... only done it a couple of times and the people involved were complete nutters ! I mean paramilitary !! Covering themselves in full camo gear, lying down in wet ditches and other such crazy antics ...

Completely insane but you have to admire their dedication. Without their efforts we’d probably know a lot less about waders, gulls, geese etc.

The Hairy Birder said...

No crazy antics today G, but a totally dedicated bunch!