14 Mar 2017

Last SCAN canon netting trip of the winter

A re-scheduled canon netting trip meant  I could make the last SCAN session of the winter and so Saturday morning saw me arriving at Kinmel Bay at 05.45 and gettign uestioned by the local police as to my intentions.......

After explaining to the officer what I was doing a few of the other members of the team turned up only for a 2nd police car to arrive. Apparently, according to local sources (Mark Payne) the area is a meeting point for the local transvestites.........

With two nets set the waiting game began. The target species was Sanderling and during the early morning recce a colour ringed bird had been spotted. Pulse rates quickened as news came in over the radios as to the whereabouts of the birds and how many were in the catching area.

Suddenly the button was pressed and the nets were fired. The nets were moved up the beach away from the in coming tide and the birds covered in hessian to keep them calm until they were extracted and placed in holding cages to await ringing and processing.

A total of 555 birds were processed with over 200 Sanderling being caught - including the colour ringed bird that came from Iceland! It was originally ringed there in the autumn of 2016 before subsequently being seen at several sites on the north Lancashire coast, then Formby and finally Kinmel Bay!

 Juvenile Sanderling (Euring 5, 2nd calendar year) showing  buff tips (very worn) to tertials and inner media coverts.
Adult Sanderling (Euring 6, 3rd calendar year or older) without the buff tips shown by the juvenile

Good numbers of Dunlin were also processed including a bird with a colour ring thought to have originally been ringed in mid-Wales. In addition around 6 Ringed Plover and a single Turnstone were also processed.
Colour ringed Dunlin.

A great day - the weather was kind to us, a good catch (that'll help increase our knowledge of these birds movements and the importance of the local area for them as a wintering ground), good company and a cracking rugby result! Roll on the summer and the start of the seabird ringing season on Puffin Island.

It was great to see local birder John Roberts out and about - I haven't seen him for a long time!

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