NLRG was formed in 1957 to help in the study of birds in the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society area. There are currently 12 active ringers. Species currently being studied include: Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Sand Martin, Twite, Goosander, Oystercatcher and Grey Wagtail. Migration has been studied for 28 years at Heysham. We welcome anyone who wants to observe, help or perhaps wish to become a ringer. Photo: A Heysham-ringed Twite on the Mull of Kintyre (thanks to Eddie Maguire)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

How to catch Grey Wagtails

The simplest and most efficient way of catching Grey Wagtails at Heysham is to create a 'corridor' pointing north-westerly in an otherwise fairly enclosed mist net ride (or whichever degree of northerly is the favoured direction of autumnal migrants at your site) and place a CLEAR tape (Roche works very well) under or behind the net. Try and make sure that the location does not have an easy perch behind the net (a nice dense bush without obvious open branches is best - also giving the net shelter/background), or the birds may fly beyond and see/then avoid the net

There is absolutely no need to "make the site open" for an "open area-loving" species. Grey Wagtails dont mind enclosure at all, indeed quite the opposite e.g. along the gloomy 'gorge' section of the Hindburn at Millhouses, therefore it is not a problem bringing them into a relatively enclosed area where your mist net has the necessary 'background'. Creating the corridor along the natural flightline of the autumnal migrants is a similar principle to landing an aircraft!


No comments: