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The team spent a good part of the day trying to convince a reluctant group of turnstones and semipalmated sandpipers into the catch zone, without success. The number of birds on the Bay is still low, so the difficulty was of little consequence, but we need a sample of red knot (a minimum sample is 100 birds) in order to maintain surveillance of weight gains.
As the morning sun approached mid-day in a baby-blue sky, Clive and Roger coached Sam and Dick to twinkle birds toward the net. Clive taps Sam regularly because " he's a natural". But the birds are erratic, moved around first by a plumber working beneath one of the beach houses and then by a group of nuns moving into another beach house. Roger and Clive had all but decided to pack it in. Just then, a group of a few turnstones and some sanderlings flew into the catch area. Then from out of nowhere, a large group of knots and turnstones landed right in the catch area. They fired the cannon net, and we ended with our first good catch of about 117 red knots, 141 turnstone, 71 sanderling and one dunlin.
The chief advantage of the catch was that now we could attached the thirty transmitters we had just received from Brian Harrrington. Brian began a project this year instrumenting red knots with transmitters while they stopped over on the coast of Georgia. He hopes to locate the breeding area of the red knots wintering in Florida by searching for transmitters in much the same way we did in Southampton Island in the Canadian Arctic. Brian had 30 transmitters left and sent them to us to add to the 60 we intend to attach as part of the Arctic project described in another web page on this site.
Kathy Clark attached all of the transmitters. These transmitters will serve us well. Not only will they add to the search for transmitters in the Arctic, more immediately, Humphrey will be able to search for nighttime roost sites.