Moreen was keen to get as much from our visit as possible. There would be no slacking off.
Her field assistants were just back from Kenya where they had undergone some additional training provided by the Nairobi National Museum. She was keen that they put their new skills to use under supervision to really consolidate what they had learnt.
Much progress had been made. Patrick and Godfrey had been very efficient at the mechanics of catching and handling birds but had struggled a bit with measurements, partly because of poor equipment and partly because of inexperience. Experience had been gained in the last 18 months and we’d brought some first class equipment which would be theirs to keep.
The routine was simple. Nets were set in the afternoon and closed for the night. Where possible they were set in one continuous line … 228 metres long. Which is way more net than a small team would attempt to handle in Australia, but some of the hazards we face are absent in Uganda – no Butcherbirds, Kookaburras or birds of prey to start eating your catch; the cool shade of the forest interior rather than a dessicating sun and on average larger more robust birds. Not a bird was lost.
The nets would be opened at first light, birds caught, processed and released until about 1pm when the nets would be packed up. After lunch they would be carried to the next day’s catch site.