8th International Course on Duck Capture and Marking
São Jacinto – Portugal
12 to 16 February 2015
On 1993 we began regular duck capture and marking in Portugal, within ecology and management studies. After more than 18500 ducks captured and marked (see total captures and resights), the idea of organizing the 8th International Course is to continue to share our experience in duck capture and marking, and to stimulate duck studies using capture/marking in European countries and, eventually, cooperative studies between them.
The course will discuss the advantages and limitations of capture/marking techniques, and practical details (that mean all difference!). It will consist on techniques to construct and operate traps, construction of nasal saddles and best fit on ducks, optical equipment and resighting conditions improvement (see program). Although it will be also focused, the correct identification of duck species, their ageing and sexing, will not be the main aim of the course, because of the short time available. Captures expected consist mainly on Teal and Mallard, with potential captures of all other duck species (see last courses captures).
The course is limited to 4 persons (see last course photos). Official language will be English, although other languages can be used, according to attendee’s preference.
The course will take place at S. Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve (near Aveiro), where in an 8 ha sand-pit pound there usually are 3000-5000 ducks during winter (see Travel and other details and photo), and at least one capture day at EVOA project (near Lisbon).
Total cost is 600 euros, including all meals, accommodation, Avian Influenza protection kits, transport in place and field trip to Mondego River Lowlands, and a CD with all information shown. Inscriptions must be confirmed and paid until 31 January, after there will be an extra fee of 30% (180 euros).
David Rodrigues (PhD)
Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra
Phone: (351) 239 802 285
Fax: (351) 239 802 289; 239 802 979
Last updated on 04-01-2015
We will have 3 capture days, 4 days for observation and resightings. We will show and explain the several models of traps we use (target species and operating details). We will show the different models of nasal saddles, their target species, advantages and limitations, best optic material to use on resightings, construction of saddles, ...
The day of arrival will be spent on installing people, getting knowing ourselves and the reserve, introduction to capture and marking objectives and the techniques used. On 3rd day we will go to Mondego Lowlands to see different resighting conditions and some other duck areas. On 4th day the course will end after lunch.
You can arrive by air to Lisbon or Porto. Than you should take the train to Aveiro (both in Lisbon and in Porto the Metro links the airport and the train station) and we will pick you there.
You should bring your binoculars and telescope (there will be a couple available but not enough for every one), as well as rubber boots (preferably the big ones until the breast - waders). If you want, you should be able to purchase ones near the reserve by 30-40 euros. Bring a sleeping bag since the reserve accommodations don’t have heating (rooms for 3 or more people - we will arrange things by sexes, if needed). Those more exigent on accommodations can request for local hotels contacts and conditions.
should also bring weather proof clothes – it can be good weather but
also rainy or cold (you will freeze on the hides!).
The winter 2002/3 was very wet, flooding the area and reducing captures. The 2003 captures were:
2nd day – 3 Anas platyrhynchos, 10 Anas crecca, 2 Anas penelope, 1 Aythya fuligula, 1 Gallinula chloropus and 1 Anas carolinensis;
3rd day - 2 Anas platyrhynchos, 9 Anas crecca and 5 Anas penelope;
5th day - 2 Anas platyrhynchos and 2 Anas penelope.
The winter 2003/4 was dry and during the course it was sunny and warm weather, increasing captures although it was not a top duck counting winter. The 2004 captures were:
2nd day – 16 Anas platyrhynchos, 34 Anas crecca (including a recapture of 1 Anas crecca x carolinensis marked during the previous winter), 15 Anas penelope and 2 Fulica atra.
3rd day - 15 Anas platyrhynchos, 17 Anas crecca, 5 Anas penelope and 1 Anas clypeata;
5th day - 5 Anas platyrhynchos, 14 Anas crecca, 6 Anas penelope, 3 Anas clypeata, 2 Aythya fuligula and 2 Fulica atra.
The winter 2004/5 was very dry and during the course it was sunny but "cold" weather, increasing captures although it was not also a top duck counting winter. The 2005 captures were:
2nd day – 20 Anas platyrhynchos, 39 Anas crecca and 3 Anas penelope;
3rd day - 22 Anas platyrhynchos, 7 Anas crecca and 18 Anas penelope;
5th day - 21 Anas platyrhynchos, 11 Anas crecca, 4 Anas penelope.
The course 2005/6 wasn’t made since no one confirmed registration on time – probably there wasn’t the best divulgation of the course but the Avian Flu effect might be the first cause… See the last photo bellow that show the Avian Influenza protection kit! Since the course wasn’t made we only did 2 days captures and the results were (dry and “cold” winter):
2nd day – 10 Anas platyrhynchos, 46 Anas crecca, 5 Anas penelope and 1 Aythya fuligula; 3rd day - 16 Anas platyrhynchos, 54 Anas crecca, 9 Anas penelope, 4 Aythya fuligula, 1 Anas clypeata and 1 Fulica atra.
The winter 2006/7 was very warm all over Europe (many ducks stayed at upper Latitudes and counts at S. Jacinto were one of the lowest ever), with a previous very wet autumn, dispersing ducks and reducing captures (also a result of forest harvesting during the winter around the pond, during winter in a Nature Reserve...). The 2007 captures were:
2nd day – 16 Anas platyrhynchos, 2 Anas crecca, 1 Fulica atra and 1 Tachybaptus ruficollis;
3rd day - 14 Anas platyrhynchos, 2 Anas crecca, 2 Anas penelope1 Fulica atra and 1 Tachybaptus ruficollis;
5th day - 13 Anas platyrhynchos; 2 Gallinula chloropus and 2 Anas penelope.
The winter 2007/8 was not cold again in Europe (as in 2006/7 many ducks stayed at upper Latitudes and counts at S. Jacinto were low, also again as a result of forest work during the winter around the pond and other disturbance...). In this course captures were arranged in a different way, having an extra capture day in Mondego Lowlands. The 2008 captures were:
1st day – 2 Anas crecca - in Mondego Lowlands;
3rd day - 4 Anas platyrhynchos, 8 Anas crecca, 2 Anas clypeata and 1 Fulica atra;
4th day - 19 Anas platyrhynchos; 22 Anas crecca, 4 Aythya fuligula and 14 Anas penelope;
5th day - 3 Anas platyrhynchos; 2 Anas crecca, 4 Anas clypeata, 1 Gallinula chloropus and 2 Anas penelope.
The winter 2008/9 was normal in Europe but counts at S. Jacinto were low, again as a result of forest work during the winter around the pond and other disturbance... Also, January was very wet in Portugal and there was a storm just a week before the course that flooded Mondego Lowland Marshes (traps were below water...) and raised up too much water levels at S. Jacinto. It rained also during the course - also not good for captures. The 2009 captures were:
3rd day - 1 Anas platyrhynchos, 1 Anas crecca, 2 Anas clypeata and 2 Tachybaptus ruficollis;
4th day - 3 Anas crecca and 1 Anas penelope;
5th day - 1 Anas crecca, 2 Anas penelope and 1 Tachybaptus ruficollis.
The winter 2009/10 was very wet (the wettest since the courses began), flooding Mondego Lowland Marshes (traps were below water...) and raised up too much water levels at S. Jacinto (the second highest since 1993 but during the longer period...), so reducing captures. As there weren't formal confirmed registrations on time, we did only 2 days of captures (see the photo of the "dream duck team"), and 2010 captures were:
2nd day – 4 Anas platyrhynchos, 12 Anas crecca and 3 Anas clypeata;
3rd day - 1 Anas platyrhynchos, 7 Anas crecca, 2 Anas clypeata and 2 Aythya fuligula.
During the winter 2010/11 there were cold spells in Northern Europe, starting in earlier/mid December, that forced many ducks to move to Iberia. However counts at S. Jacinto were not high (except for teals), specially at the main pond, since there was a pair of resident Accipiter gentilis predating on ducks every days, several times a day... This forced some species to not settle at the reserve, specially Shovelers, and most species were more abundant at the secondary pond where there are no captures (in this area there was only a juvenile A. gentilis predating, not so dangerous to ducks...). From mid December to mid January there was lot of rain that raised up too much water levels but fortunately stopped 2 weeks before the course allowing some drainage and decreasing of water levels. The 2011 captures were:
2nd day – 8 Anas crecca (in Mondego Lowlands);
3rd day - 4 Anas crecca (in Mondego Lowlands);
4th day -11 Anas platyrhynchos, 24 Anas crecca and 1 Aythya fuligula;
5th day - 2 Anas platyrhynchos, 81 Anas crecca, 1 Aythya fuligula and 1 Tachybaptus ruficollis.
The winter 2011/12 was warm and very dry (the driest since our duck captures began and even since there are meteorological data for Portugal - on practise it stopped raining at the end of November). However, on late January there was a cold spell in Northern Europe that might forced some ducks to move to Portugal, specially teals, so the capture conditions would be the best ever if wasn't the presence of the pair of resident Accipiter gentilis predating on ducks every day, several times a day, forcing most species to move to the secondary pond where there are no captures (as during previous winters...). As there weren't formal confirmed registrations and I had to delay the exit to S. Jacinto, due to institutional work, it was only possible one capture day at S. Jacinto and 2 days of captures at Mondego Lowlands. The 2012 captures were:
2nd day – 21 Anas platyrhynchos, 93 Anas crecca and 4 Aythya fuligula;
4th day - 23 Anas crecca and 2 Gallinula chloropus and (in Mondego Lowlands);
5th day - 8 Anas crecca (in Mondego Lowlands).
The winter 2012/13 entered to the history by a big storm that occurred mainly in central Portugal, with very strong winds and heavy rain that destroid many trees at S. Jacinto, flushed most ducks from the site and flooded Mondego lowlands. As a result we only did 2 days of captures and the 2013 capture results were:
2nd day – 28 Anas crecca, 2 Tachybaptus ruficollis and 1 Gallinula chloropus;
3th day - 19 Anas crecca, 4 Anas platyrhynchos and 1 Gallinula chloropus.
From mid January to mid February 2014 there was heavy rain that flooded S. Jacinto and Mondego lowlands, so no captures were done during or near the programmed dates of the course.
2003 - From back to front and left to right: Nico De Regge (Belgium), Anastasia B. Popovkina (Russia), Ksenya V. Avilova (Russia), Paulo Tenreiro (course instructor), Michael Armelin (Portuguese national ringing station), David Rodrigues (course instructor), Vitor Encarnação (Portuguese national ringing station), Emilio Sabaris (Spain).
From left to right: Paulo Tenreiro, David Rodrigues, Richard Hearn (UK),
Paulo Mota (Portugal), Dave Fulton (UK).
2005 – From left to right: Paulo Encarnação (Portugal), Camille Duponcheel (France), Philippe Cannesson (France), Sara Brown (UK), Pascal Raevel (France), David Rodrigues.
2006 – No one confirmed the registration, probably due to Avian Influenza. Above is the protection kit used presently. Not bad during winter but a sauna during summer…
2007 – From left to right: Gilberto Depra (Brasil), Gema García (Spain), David Rodrigues and Arantxa Brea (Spain).
2008 – From left to right: David Rodrigues, Paulo Morais (Portugal), Andreas Schmidt (Germany) and Doris Matthes (Germany).
2009 – From left to right: Miguel Araújo (Portugal), David Rodrigues and Luca Sattin (Italy).
2010 – The "dream duck team": - from left to right: David Rodrigues, Maria Ester Figueiredo, Margarida Rodrigues and Pierre-Yves Duby (France).
2011 – Due to the record captures of Teals in the last day, we had to do an indoor photo (we ended to mark birds already during the night...). From left to right: David Rodrigues, Hélder Camacho (Portugal), and Tal Romano (Israel).
2012 – No one confirmed the registration, so no formal course was done. Tim van Nus (Holland), resighted some marked fuligula in Aveiro and went to S. Jacinto to know the place and marking processes. He wanted to capture many birds so we established a new record for new teals marked in one day - 80! He entered to S. Jacinto history so deserves to be on this photo gallery!...
2013 – No one confirmed the registration, so no formal course was done. At least one day of captures at EVOA project lagoons were planned but the experience during this winter, at this place, showed that you need more then lots of ducks (8500 teals... see video), knowledge how to capture ducks and loads of experience of doing it. As it was a new place where I only could go few times, there were loads of ducks and I wanted to minimize disturbance, I went by the safest way and didn't managed to capture any duck... During the summer of 2013 I "learned" the place, had the help of Luis Arede doing his degree thesis there and captures started, including teals during September!...
2014 – One more year without confirmed registrations. With S. Jacinto and Mondego Lowlands flooded, the captures would probably be done at EVOA project lagoons. Luis Arede did more than one year of captures there with important results. He gainned his place on the Portuguese duck capture History!...