Wednesday, 19 October 2011

What a drag!

For anyone who doesn't already know drag-netting is a technique used for catching birds that roost on the ground. Typically it's used for catching Skylarks or pipits but can be used for birds like Jack Snipe, Partridge, Quail and, as we discovered last year, Lapland Buntings!

One of the 7 Lapland Buntings we drag-netted in North Wales last winter.

Last night, as there are a fair few Skylarks around at the moment, I went down to Ynyslas with Jane. Conditions were perfect - dark and a bit wet & windy.   We spent about an hour dragging the net around a stubble field that was full of roosting Skylarks and caught 30, not a bad return for effort!  No Lapland Buntings seen  or heard though, now that would have been a bonus!

Very under-rated I reckon, and surprisingly big too!  Some had longer wing-lengths than some Redwings (120 mm)! Not good for recoveries though, I ringed literally hundreds of them in the late 1980s near Shrewsbury and never got a single one back! We did however have a movement last year of a bird ringed at Ynyslas and re-trapped at Llanon.

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