Hello and welcome to 2014! Hopefully, WBW will continue to roll on during this year, so lets get on with it.
When I lived in the UK I used to think about waders that "wintered" in the southern hemisphere - and it never occurred to me that they would be in that part of the world during the summer! I suppose it's a kind of "northern imperialism" of the mind!
A much better way to think about this is "breeding" and "non-breeding" periods. So, many waders spend their non-breeding periods in Australia and there breeding periods in the far north - Siberia and such like.
In the days between Christmas and New Year I normally help out with a group that traps these waders as part of a long tern breeding success study. Basically its about catching a representative sample of a number of species so that we can look at the number of juvenile birds. This study takes place at a large sewage works to the West of Melbourne called Werribee - although in the age of spin its now called The Western Treatment Plant!
This picture gives you an idea of the number of birds that can gather in small areas.
We trap the birds with cannon deployed nets - these fly out over flocks of roosting birds, which are then rapidly extracted and placed in dark keeping cages. Then its all hands on deck to process the birds.
These images show the net deploying - to get a better idea of whats going on here, the net is coming towards the viewer.
This net trapped about 500 birds - about 300 Red-necked Stints and 100 each of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Curlew-Sandpiers. This classifies its as good catch!
The birds get the classic metal band (or ring) as well as an plastic orange leg "flag". The flag means the birds from this part of the world can be identifed just by the presence of the flag - and OLF (orange leg flag) means it's one of our birds.
I don't always get much time for photography - but during a tea break I got some pictures of some the birds in the hand.
|Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (note OLF)|
Not only are these birds wild - some of them were livid!!
Now its over to you to link up! If you are here on New Years Day, I assume you know what to do! (But click on the link and follow the instructions if you don't!)