Swale Wader Group

 

We had near perfect conditions for our ringing session at Harty; no wind, no moon and cloud and caught 174 birds.

KNOT 20201018The Norwegian colour-ringed Knot, recaptured at HartyThe catch comprised:

  • 65 Dunlin
  • 54 Knot, including 3 retraps and 1 Norwegian control
  • 26 Black-tailed Godwit
  • 14 Redshank, including 1 retrap
  • 7 Bar-tailed Godwit
  • 2 Ruff 2 (1 new, 1 retrap)
  • 2 Avocet
  • 1 Shelduck
  • 1 Wigeon
  • 2 Starling

This is the largest catch this millennium, other recent big catches were on 26 Nov 2016 (141) at Harty and 21 Dec 2006 (135) on Harty fresh marsh. There are not many catches of over 150 birds; 3 Oct 1993 (150) and achieved with just 3 ringers (Jan, Keith and Rod) and on 20 Oct 1990 (192) both at Harty. All of these catches were dominated by Dunlin. A catch of 111 at Shellness on 9 October 1999 was dominated by Redshank. Back in the 1960's catches were much higher with the average catch during 1961, the first year of catching waders, being 192 birds per catch and in 1967 the average catch was 132. Wader catches have changed over the years with fewer Dunlin in the summer catches, increasing numbers of both Godwits, the loss of Curlew Sandpipers and Golden Plover and fewer Lapwings. Grey Plover peaked in about the year 2000 and have slowly declined since. The Knot catches this season are a new feature, we have always caught a few Knot but this year the numbers are exceptional.