Swannery birding highlights of the week...
12th to 18th November 2012
I've had this week off work and as I was busy spending some quality time with Suz (who, she would like me to point out, is not the old squaw of the title!), I only got down to The Swannery for a few hours on Thursday, Saturday and today for the WeBS count...
|Looking across The Swannery Meadows to Chesters Hill yesterday.|
There was a good selection of wildfowl on all three of my visits and in the calm conditions today the embayment was covered in birds. The highlight was a first winter/female Long-tailed Duck... This species (once known in America as the 'Oldsquaw' due to it's call and long tail feathers) was once an annual visitor to the lagoon but today's was my first sighting for a few years (having missed out on Luke's bird a week or two back). Another good sighting was a female Mandarin Duck and like the 'Long-tail' it flew in and settled out on The Fleet (both too far out for decent photos) between 09.00 and 10.00 this morning at the start of the count but neither could be found later. The count results (with thanks to Alan, Ian and Mike) were:
Mute Swan 296
Black Swan 3
Greylag Goose 1Canada Goose 8
Shelduck 17Mandarin Duck 1
Wigeon 480Gadwall 2
Teal 300Mallard 370
Mallard (domestic) 6
Pintail 105Shoveler 50
Pochard 490Tufted Duck 263
Scaup 7 (9 on Saturday)Long-tailed Duck 1
Goldeneye 3 (the regular male + 2 females)Red-breasted Merganser 7
Little Grebe 28Great Crested Grebe 14
Cormorant 6Little Egret 4
Grey Heron 1Moorhen 14
Coot 965Lapwing 11
Snipe 5Kingfisher 2
Black-headed Gull 70Mediterranean Gull 2 (30+ Thursday & Saturday)
Common Gull 6
Herring Gull 2Great Black-backed Gull 5
|Looking east from The Viewing Platform today across to the three copses of Tiny, Chesters and Cuckoo.|
As I have hardly been birding this week I haven't got much to add to the above tally but the first winter Common Scoter was still present to Thursday at least, as were a couple of Redshanks and three Dunlins were present on Saturday. The only raptors were the usual Buzzards, Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk or two, not even any Marsh Harriers and as for passerines there is not much to report save for the continual 'pinging' of a few Bearded Tits (heard but not seen), good numbers of Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs and a few Siskins in the withy beds, Stonechats in the hedgerows and scrub and a couple of Nuthatches and Jays are still visiting my bird feeders at adjacent Grove Lane.
|From The Viewing Platform across to Shipmoor Point today (there are duck out there honest!).|
I'm back to work tomorrow so normal service should resume (maybe even some photos of some decent birds)!