The original purpose of Saturday was to retrieve more geolocators from the Grey-tailed Tattlers roosting at Manly but as the first catch of the season we were hoping for a good mixed catch including tattlers to start the seasons catching off. The recce was promising with over 2000 birds present including at least 300 tattler with at least one gelocator bird present.
As usual we set two nets on the western shore at 5am and then waited for the tide to bring the birds in. The high tide meant an early catch and after some brief twinkling a substantial mixed flock, including a lot of tattler was in front of one net and we fired the net at 9:30am
The net fired extremely well and what we thought was a catch of c. 300 birds was closer to 400 once we had cleared the nets and checked the content of the cages. 4 banding teams worked through the birds, finishing at high tide at which point we starting moving birds slowly around the roost to get a second catch of godwit before the tide dropped. However, the birds were clearly wise to the plan and were happy to move anywhere on the roost except the area where the net was set so we stopped after 30-40 minutes, packed up the equipment and left.
There were a number of retraps in the catch, none older than 5 years, and also a good number of Curlew Sandpiper, which given their current status was a pleasant catch and a late Red Knot was also a surprise. catch details are below and as always a huge thank you to the 21 people who attended and helped out.