Late on Friday night, as all the other 'normal' students left for a night down the pub, I set off for Montrose Basin to take part in my first wader mist netting session. After getting lost in the darkness, several times, I found the meeting point and the rest of team: Chris McGuigan from Tay RG and Raymond Duncan, Ewan Weston and Euan Ferguson from Grampian RG.
I had never been to Montrose Basin before and what an introduction, as we spent the night ringing away under the stars. We stayed out ringing until 4:30am and had a very successful night, catching 56 new birds and 2 recaptures.
The 2 recaptures consisted of an Oystercatcher that was ringed as a 3 (juvenile) in August 2010 and a Bar-tailed Godwit that was also ringed on the same night as the same age!
It was an interesting and enjoyable night where I gained a lot of valuable new experience. We ringed 6 species during the night, 4 of which were new for me: Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew and Redshank. The night was a great opportunity to use a variety of different ring sizes, learn how to age new wader species and to take wader's biometrics.
The Black-tailed Godwit that we caught was colour ringed for one of the group's ongoing projects studying the species. Any colour ring sightings can be sent to Raymond Duncan at raymond'@'waxwing.fsnet.co.uk.
|A happy ringer with a colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit|
I'd have to say that the best thing about ringing in the dark is when you get to release your freshly ringed bird. Nothing beats releasing a Curlew into the night's sky and watching it fly off infront of the moon & stars whilst it calls into the darkness!
A really fantastic night was had with a brilliant, very welcoming wee team. It made a nice change to be surrounded by Scottish ringers for once too! A big thank you goes to Chris for inviting me and to the very bonnie team for a great night - hears to next time!
So with 4 new species that night I am only one away from my 80th - the next post is going to be something pretty good, promise! ; )