Swale Wader Group

 

A team of four ringers attempted a catch on Spitend on Sunday 7th September. The light from the almost full moon was partially shaded by cloud and the site was in excellent condition with shallow water and a lot of soft smelly mud round the edges, both of these elements helping to contribute to a catch of 27 birds.  Although this is a relatively low total, it is the best so far this autumn and was made up of a remarkably diverse number of species.

The following birds were caught:
  • Oystercatcher 3 (all adults)
  • Ringed Plover 2 (1 juvenile)
  • Bar-tailed Godwit 2 (one of each of the subspecies present in early autumn)
  • Turnstone 8 (including 5 adults)
  • Curlew Sandpiper 1 (a juvenile)
  • Dunlin 6 (all juveniles)
  • Redshank 1 (a juvenile)
  • Snipe 1 (a juvenile)
  • Black-headed Gull 1 (full adult)
  • Herring Gull 2 (adults)

The Curlew Sandpiper is the first since 1998, the Turnstone catch is, as far as we know, the largest ever single catch of this species on the Swale, and we cannot find a previous capture of a Herring Gull.