With strong winds and lots of rain forecast for this week, most ringers would think twice about trying to catch birds. But for us the conditions were ideal for catching. With lots of rain falling the fields where we dazzle waders are a lot wetter resulting in the birds being much more spread out and therefore less 'jumpy', and the strong wind usually means that the birds will stay more 'hunkered' down to the ground and are less likely to want to fly. So with all this in mind Silvia and I have been out catching every night this week at various sites with great success. A total of 70 new birds and 10 re traps! Although Woodcock number still seem very low, all other species of birds that we expect to encounter whilst out dazzling seem to be at their usual numbers.
Total captures for the past 5 nights are: Woodcock 5(+1), Golden Plover 15 (+2), Lapwing 1, Snipe 23 (+1), Jack Snipe 6 (+5), Tawny Owl 1, Meadow Pipit 1, Fieldfare 18 (+1).
With much of Silvia's and my focus being on Jack Snipe again this winter, it's encouraging to have already trapped 27 new birds and re trapped 8 from last winter. Some of these re traps were trapped in the same square metre of field that they were trapped in last winter!