Saturday, 24 November 2012

Sat Nav on the A44

Thursday night Paul and I headed out to the hills between Ceri and Clun in the hope of fitting the first of two satellite tags we have for our Golden Plover research (tags funded by EcologyMatters and the Welsh Assembly Government's Ecosystem Resilience and Diversity Fund and supplied by Microwave Telemetry Inc.).  Despite there being quite a moon up at the moment the clouds were thick and rain was forecast so conditions seemed good. As a matter of good practise I had set myself the limit of not attaching the tag (which weighs just 5 grams) to any bird that weighed less than 220g. 5g might seem a lot on a bird that size but they frequently put on and lose weight dependent on how cold it is and where they are headed. We know that birds can vary between 190 up to over 250g so, relatively, it is little extra to carry. As luck would have it the only Golden Plover we caught weighed in at 250g. BINGO!

Fitted with colour-ring A44 and its new sat tag this bird is set to make history as I'm pretty sure it's the first Golden Plover in Britain to be satellite tagged.

Golden Plover "Ceri" with satellite tag fitted. They feed at night on worms and wet nights are particularly good as all the worms are on the surface so they are loaded and ready to fire, frequently, as can be seen !

Hoping to fit the next one sometime soon. I will post updates here and on the EcologyMatters website.

Six Woodcock, 5 Fieldfare and a Jack Snipe helped to make it a very memorable night.

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