Friday, 18 November 2016

Inter-tidal Catching...

Catches at this relatively early stage of the winter practically invariably involve catching on the foreshore, as the geese have yet to finish the feed available there. Diminishing stocks on the mud-flats gradually force the geese to seek food elsewhere, and later season catches tend to be land-based.
Inter-tidal catching can be more problematic than land-based. There is the additional factor of the tide to contend with, and the pattern of foreshore usage can be more transitory (although this is a relative term!!).
Today we were out catching again on Strangford Lough, this time at Cross Island, which has become one of the most regular autumn sites in recent years. Two nets were set along the edge of the bay, and both locations proved successful, with seven birds being caught in the first catch, followed by a further eight being netted in the second, just after the initial geese had been processed.

Canon-netter Kerry Mackie extracting, Alex Portig standing by to receive the bird

Such smaller catches are quite normal when catching on the shore, as birds can be more dispersed than the often tightly-packed landward flocks.
It was a particularly useful result of today's attempts that only four out of the fifteen birds caught were adults. That means a further eleven birds of known age have been added to our listings. All fifteen were newly caught birds.
These latest catches bring the grand total of birds caught to 5,052, a magnificent achievement by our canon-netters and all their volunteer helpers (many thanks to everyone!!). Of these, 360 birds had been caught before, so the number of individuals caught is now 4,692, since the programme of catches commenced in 2001.

1 comment:

  1. Nice update Graham. That really is a superb achievement and, once again, thanks to all who braved the elements. Legends