Monday, 28 January 2013

Bewick's and Smew

Some of the 100s of Gulls at The Patch this morning
 After a few minutes of staring into the bright sunshine at The Point this morning I moved to The Patch which was very busy. Several 100s of Black Headed Gulls dominated with smaller numbers of the big gulls. At Sea noticeably less Auks, a few Gannets, c300 Kittiwakes and 25 Common Scoter moved east.
 From the causeway New Diggings held 9 red head Smew and 2 Great White Egrets and the ARC had 10 Smew (2 drakes) and another Great White Egret. From Hanson a Bittern showed well as did 2 Marsh Harriers and a Goldcrest also a Peregrine shot across the lake.
 At Scotney the Tundra Bean goose showed well among the Greylags, the feral Barnacle flock was still present, also 100s of Wigeon and Golden Plover, 6 Ruff and 14 Dunlin. 12 Bewick swans were in fields to the west of the pit. At the back of Scotney Court farm 12 Greater White-fronted Geese, 16 Corn Buntings, 2 Marsh Harriers and c200 Fieldfare and Redwing. Though in general winter thrush numbers were well down on previous days.
This afternoon the wind had really started to blow and the duck on the ARC were sheltering behind the bushes by the causeway. Among 100s of the common wildfowl were 19 Smew and there were 10 sheltering on New diggings making 29 for the day my biggest count this year.
Out on Walland 13 Bewick Swans at Hawthorn Corner, near Midley Cottages a further 177 Bewick Swans making a day total for the marsh of 202. 5 more Bean Geese that I assumed to be Tundras were with the largest Bewick Swan flock but distant and were flushed by dog walker on the marsh, 4 Greater White-fronted Geese flew over.

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