Japanese Visit and Plans for Snipe Catch next week

Subject: Japanese Visit and Plans for Snipe Catch next week
From: Lori Gould <>
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2020 07:19:30 +0000

Hi All,


I hope you had a Happy Christmas and New Year, and are safe and well in the face of the catastrophic conditions that face us.


Our Japanese friends from the Wild Bird Society are still visiting us next week as planned and arrive on Tues 7th Jan in the mid-afternoon. They depart on Sat 11th Jan. Fortunately the weather is predicted to improve somewhat with a cooler change, however the smoke conditions could remain bad. There are 9 children (6 to 12 years old) and 5 adults. They will have a translator (and we have a couple of people who also speak Japanese such as Kumiko and Mieko).


At this stage we are planning to do a Snipe catch on the night of the 7th Jan (set up) and morning of the 8th Jan (catch) in an area in front of Ardea hide where the birds have been concentrating. We may do another one on the 8th / 9th Jan depending on whether there is a second suitable catch site. We have been monitoring several sites over the past few weeks to determine where the birds are frequenting.


The timing of catching (and whether it is safe to proceed at all) will be governed by the conditions, in particular fire and smoke hazards. We have made this very clear to our visitors and have explained the situation in Australia at present (in more detail than they get on the news). In this regard, we remain flexible in terms of the program, the draft of which is as follows (for now):


Mon 6th Jan

  • Set up wetland in ed room – mostly Miriam and Lori and family members (PCS staff are on essential duties only – mostly fire).
  • If anyone wishes to help meet at the Wetlands at 1pm.
  • Birgita flies in at 3.45pm.


Tues 7th Jan

  • Finish wetland setup. Meet at wetlands at 10am if you wish to help.
  • 3pm Japanese arrive for a Jerrabomberra Wetlands tour
  • Relax, set up beds, meet and greet etc.
  • 7pm Dinner (of some description organised by Lori). Volunteers welcome to join us for dinner before set up.
  • 8pm Start set up (including reccy of catch area). Please leave enough time to set up beds if you are planning on staying overnight.
  • 11pm finish set up and go to bed.


Wed 8th Jan

  • 4.30am Unfurl nets (3-4 volunteers needed)
  • 5am Flush birds (up to 10 volunteers needed)
  • 6am Process birds
  • 10am Finish (roughly).
  • If we catch a bird suitable for a satellite tracker we will put together a 24hour volunteer roster to watch the Snipecam.
  • 11am Take Japanese on a tour to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (if open). Volunteers welcome! Own transport required.
  • 4pm Rest
  • 7pm Dinner at the Wetlands – Lori to organise
  • 8pm Set up nets (if Snipe catch goes ahead)
  • 11pm Finish set up


Thurs 9th Jan

  • 4.30am Unfurl nets (3-4 volunteers needed)
  • 5am Flush birds (up to 10 volunteers needed)
  • 6am Process birds
  • 10am Finish (roughly).
  • Monitor bird(s) if trackers are affixed to any.
  • Rest for a few hours. Take Japanese on a tour around Canberra
  • 7pm Japanese Get-Together Dinner – ALL WELCOME including our Young Rangers Club and staff and supporters. This will be a buffet-style dinner at the Wetlands (a little bit fancy)


Fri 10th Jan

  • Let any remaining birds go if applicable
  • Take Japanese to Questacon and/or Mulligans Sanctuary or elsewhere depending on fire danger and reserve closures.
  • Volunteers welcome! Will need own transport.


Fri 11th Jan

  • Japanese depart


As mentioned, any of this may change in a ‘heart-beat’ and if that occurs, I will be organising some alternative activities for the Japanese – mostly nature based tours around Canberra as conditions allow.




We need people to assist with catching, driving the Japanese to and from the Wetlands to their accommodation 5 mins away at the Diplomat Hotel – there are too many of them to stay at the Wetlands. We are going to use my car and hire a 12 seater bus.


I know a number of people have volunteered for the catch already but it would be great if you could re-confirm now that we have a plan. Also whether you plan to stay overnight.


I would like to encourage everyone (whether volunteering or not) to join us for the dinner on the evening of Thursday 9th Jan. This invite extends to staff, volunteers, birders and photographers, Board Members, Young Rangers and others involved with the Wetlands. When we visited last year, the Wild Bird Society of Japan were wonderful to us and I would like to show them the same hospitality.


BYO bedding and other personal needs. I am going to try to get some P2 masks in case it is smokey. Note that extreme smoke will most likely cause the catch to be postponed. We have lots of pairs of waders although given that there is no water in the swamp, gum boots might be sufficient so bring these along if you have them.


I will provide food in the form of a smorgasboard (nothing very flash) so if you have special dietary needs make sure you are prepared.


I cant stress enough that things may change in a heartbeat and I will do my best to keep everyone informed. Send me your mobile number when you confirm your availability. The dinner on the Thurs night will go ahead no matter what.


Thanks for all your help,


Cheers Lori



Lori Gould

Program Manager

Woodlands and Wetlands Trust (Jerrabomberra Wetlands)


M: 0439 030 058

PO Box 58 Fyshwick ACT 2609











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