Last night, Silvia and I headed out for our last lamping session of 2015. The weather was by no means perfect for catching, but the moon wasn't up until 22:00 so it was pretty dark. Although all of the rain meant that the fields were great for waders to feed on them, it also meant that creeping up on them was very difficult. Unfortunately the Snipe could here me from a long way away, and as a result I didn't catch any. Thankfully there were a few 'dry' patches where being quiet wasn't as tricky. On one of these patches I spotted a single Golden Plover. Somehow I managed to creep up to it and catch it. Amazingly this is the 100th new Golden Plover I've caught this winter! Although it's been a very mild winter, numbers of Golden Plover on our ringing sites have now dropped to single figures. Early on in the season there were 100+ in some fields, this drop in numbers has also been reflected in the number of birds caught - 3 in September, 48 in October, 35 in November and just 14 in December. Hopefully some of the birds will get re-sighted so we can learn more about their winter dispersal.
Two other milestones were also reached last night when I caught mine and Silvia's 100th Fieldfare of the winter. and in doing so also brought up our 500th 'dazzled' bird of the winter. Hopefully January to early April can also bring us some more good catches.