Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Waders and owls

Eight members of the group made another trip to our main wader site at the weekend during a brief spell of calm conditions which resulted in a catch of 47 individuals. Not only is this the highest so far at this site but it was also the bulkiest with 21 curlews, 13 oystercatchers and 11 redshank, all of which are target species for our new colour-ringing project. Unfortunately this project is not yet underway as it is still awaiting approval to use the intended combinations, so no birds were fitted with rings, but at least it gives confidence that sufficient numbers of individuals will be caught to establish a viable project.

Adult curlew
Most of us are unfamiliar with seeing curlew in the hand at this time of year so there was a good deal of deliberation over how to correctly age them: the above bird was aged as adult based on the even age of the feathers, though some birds appeared ambiguous.

Three curlews and a teal being processed 

The adult oystercatchers (age code  = 10, or 4 years +) were startlingly bright

This adult male barn owl was first ringed by John as a nestling 12km away in 2013. It was quite a surprise to find it in a wader net.

This tawny owl was caught last week visiting a garden on the Pembs/Carms border

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