The use of mist-nets on high tides during the hours of darkness is less selective in which species are caught, but this technique provides us with additional opportunities to catch and ring waders in the region. A mist-net catch can usually be managed with a smaller team and without the need for a specialist cannon net license holder or the preparatory work needed to reconnaisace precise roost sites and set cannon nets in advance of the planned catch tide.
Our focus on the Exe estuary is the wintering Oystercatcher population and this species is our primary target for mist-netting as we aim to catch birds flying into the high-tide roosts.
Oystercatchers are faithful to wintering sites so the birds you have seen here years ago may be the same ones now. The oldest Dawlish Warren Oystercatcher on record is at least 36 years old, last seen in Jan 2018.