Ringer Greg Conway writes:
When one of my trainee ringers, mentioned that he had a 'good number' of Quail on a local farm in south Norfolk, and recalling the apparent ease with which this species is caught in Belgium and the Netherlands, I decide to give it a try. However, given the low success rate when attempting to catch in the autumn, I didn't expect to to catch any. Just another exercise in put nets up and taking down again.
So on 11th June, just as the sun was setting, we carefully put up a triangle in a cereal crop. By the time the nets were set, up to 4 males were calling nearby and we got the impression that something was watching us! As I made a final check of the net I was totally amazed to watch a male pop up from within the triangle of nets and jump into the net. It was immediately extracted and processed, then I started the tape lure (having the appropriate tape luring licence) and a female immediately flew into the net and again was promptly extracted. It was an hour later though before the third and final Quail of the evening was caught.
If that wasn't reward enough, I was amazed to receive notification recently that one of the three was shot in September at Montegut-Arros, Midi-Pyrenees, France.
Four Quail were ringed in Britain & Ireland in 2010 and we are up to 7 so far this year. It will be interesting to see how many were ringed this year, once all the data is in our database.
Thanks to John Secker for the photo.