Tuesday 22 October 2019

Bann Estuary Waders 2019

As usual we've struggled to match up the ideal tides that fall over a couple of days every two weeks after sunset, with some ideal weather and availability of a suitable team (some of the older guys play bowls 😅) but we did succeed twice.
The first of these visits was on the 7th of August with myself, John, Abbie, Rich K and John S. The catch was steady over the few hours of darkness in the three nets and produced a new species for us - Greenshank.
In the end we managed to catch 3 Greenshank, 18 Dunlin and 14 Redshank plus a BTO control.


In 2018 there were only 18 Greenshank caught across the UK and Ireland and between 1952-2018 there were just 53 trapped across Ireland, 12 in Northern Ireland since 1977, so a very good catch indeed. Interestingly there were 7/8 present and we did try a range of their own calls but they only came into the mixed tape to roost.


The next session was two weeks later on the 21st of August, again with help from Abbie & Rich supported by Ken. We reduced the number of nets down to a single 12mx12m V net set and had to work with higher water levels in the shallow pools.
The catch wasn't quite as large as two weeks previous but we did get slightly more diversity with four species. We added a new species for the Bann Estuary with a Knot which are normally scarce here but there were up to 46 present over a few weeks this August.

Black-tailed Godwit

The final catch was 15 Redshank, 8 Dunlin, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and the single Knot. Before the waders I set a single net along a thin strip of phragmites reeds and managed to catch 10 Swallows with a number of others attracted in as we took the net down.

Barn Swallow

The controlled Redshank was originally ringed in Kent in the south-east of England on the 30th of August in 2018. Going by the wing length of the bird we presumed it to be Icelandic and it may well have been on route to the south-east of England or further south for the winter once again.

We're now approaching the end of October so it is unlikely we will do much more wader ringing in the estuary but we may get out along the Causeway Coast.

No comments:

Post a Comment