This visit was billed on the dates sheet as 'possible' mist netting for one of the evenings Friday / Saturday, 3rd / 4th February. With stable weather conditions (calm, dry and cold) both nights were likely to be suitable as far as the weather was concerned but, after looking at tide tables and considering the relatively poor catch on the last mist netting at Terrington, it was decided to give Wolferton a try.
Friday 3rd February
Since it is some time since the group mist netted at Wolferton, NAC and LW visited in daylight in order to check the geography and decide where to set the nets. With a high pressure weather system the predicted tide height was not expected to be exceeded so, with the Wolferton saltmarsh being high, nets could be set in the head of the bay. The original plan had been to also set on the traditional Wolferton pool but with a new pool closer to the tide edge this was chosen instead. During this sortie on to the saltmarsh, LW became the first person to fall over in the Wolferton mud. Setting was not to be until after dark so NAC and LW went to the Base to meet up with PI. Equipment sorted before the return to Wolferton to await the rest of the setting team. With visits to Wolferton being rare in recent years some mobile phone guidance was necessary to ensure cars ended up in the right place. Ten people went out at 18:30 to set the two lines of nets, that in the bay consisting of 7 nets and, on the pool, 8 nets. HL and AR, who could not arrive in time for setting, did the equally vital role of collecting fish and chips for the team so food could be eaten as soon as setting was complete. Tape lures were left running when the setting teams left the nets. Everyone went out to check the nets about an hour before high tide. The pools net found they had about 30 birds of a variety of species whereas the bay nets had considerably more, mainly knot with some dunlin. Liaison via phone brought reinforcements from the pool nets to assist with extraction at the bay nets. By high tide the water under the nets was about a foot deep. Having extracted, the birds were taken back to the sea wall and a team remained to take down the nets. A team also went to take down the pool nets.
|Species||New||Control / Retrap||Totals|
Well after midnight by the time the last bird had been processed. Most of the team then left for home but some returned with the equipment to the Base and for a Scientific Committee meeting on the Saturday morning. By the end of the evening at least three people had fallen over in the Wolferton mud and water. Fortunately though the weather had been nothing like as cold as recent days.