Friday, 13 February 2015

A nightime six of the best....

A great night out with six waders of three species caught under the lamp. Three Woodcock, one Golden Plover and two Common Snipe - a species we don't often catch.

We suspected that we may be catching a greater proportion of adult Woodcock, here is some data from  previous seasons...
The figure is the percentage of juvenile birds, one of which is in the picture below.

 Winter season .....2010/11  82%
                             2011/12  48%
                             2012/13  50%
                             2013/14  51%
                             2014/15  40%...the.current season

Our average winter catch is c50+ birds and we should ring our 300th Woodcock in 6 years near the approaching new moon on the 18th February...!! We are not sure why the proportion of juveniles in 2010/11 was so high.

We are helping Paddy Jenks with counts of waders seen on the pastures at night as well as birds caught. See Paddy's post "Monitoring Woodcock and Snipe"
Species like Woodcock are difficult to survey, and counts at night may prove helpful. The map below shows Woodcock caught this winter at our three main survey sites, if this density is repeated on all suitable fields, then we have a substantial and unrecorded wintering population.

The sign of a successful night.....the wine gum pot is empty ...!!

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