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.