Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A cracking pair of waders

Last night Andre and I ventured down to Ynyslas in search of passage waders, Although it is getting on a bit now, with many wading birds having already moved through on their way south, it is still well within the migration period and with the tides high at the moment and the moon down catching ought to have been good. As has been the case all autumn, the number of birds present during night-time high tides has been disappointingly low. Last night we saw maybe 20 Ringed Plover, a dozen or so Dunlin, 3 Grey Plover, 1 Knot and the odd Oystercatcher. We managed to ring just 3 Ringed Plover, the Knot and 1 Grey Plover, the first one of the year.

Juvenile Grey Plover with tell-tale black armpits 

The previous night Sarah and I had fared slightly better with a dozen birds caught, comprising 6 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin and a surprise showing of a late Curlew Sandpiper. I had thought this year's passage through Ynyslas of this stunning little wader had finished so was very pleased indeed when this one obliged!

The number of Curlew Sandpipers ringed in Britain and Ireland each year varies widely depending on weather conditions and how productive the breeding season has been but this single bird equals the total number ringed during 2012!

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