Does this look like a good start to a morning's ringing - hailstones embedded in ice on the car at 5am!
We were cannon netting with the SCAN wader ringing group. Our site for the morning was Bangor harbour where there is a regular Redshank roost at high tide.
After carrying all the heavy cannon netting equipment across the gravel from the car park, the layers soon came off and fingers were luckily warm enough to wire up the cannons.
With a good number of Redshank in the right area and minutes away from firing, a Buzzard shot along the beach and sat in a tree above the net. The waders were off in a flash and didn't return.
Pressing the high tech red button to fire the cannons will have to wait for another day. Luckily across the Menai Straits the other team had great success catching over 400 birds so we shot round to Beaumaris to help.
With many pairs of hands, the Dunlin were soon extracted and put in keeping cages.
In total, 6 Turnstone, 331 new and 91 retrap Dunlin were processed. One retrap was ringed in Jan 1999.
We usually catch our Dunlin one at a time at night by lamping so it was quite an experience to deal with so many and with the stunning backdrop of snow covered mountains.
Thanks to Steve and Dave and the rest of the SCAN team for a very educational day.