Sunday, 13 January 2013

WeBS & Raptors & Crane

Lade - 0900hrs - Cold, cloudy, ne 4 - Following two days in London on grandparent duties was good to get out and about around the local patch with Barney. Needless to say the unseasonably mild weather is at an end and this morning was a proper winters runny nose job of an outing due to a biting north-easterly hacking in off the sea. Most of the ducks were on south pit with only Pochard and Teal numbers really noteworthy at 242 and 185 respectively. However, on the plus side 2 Great White Egrets were noted on both pits and 3 Marsh Harriers hunted behind the `mirrors`.
On Greatstone Beach the easterly wind had already attracted 10 kite surfers so there was little chance of counting the shorebirds. Most had pitched down on the shingle towards Lade but every so often they shifted as a kite fizzed by flushing them further along the shingle.

                                          Cormorants, Lade `mirrors`

Walland Marsh - 1430hrs - Joined Marshman for the monthly harrier count. En-route few birds noted on ARC/New Diggings from the causeway road apart from a Great White Egret; perhaps the ducks have sensed the impending change in weather...
On Walland a quick look at the swan flock opposite the flying club contained at least 70 Bewick`s, and a few more at Midley. On the marshlands reduced numbers of Lapwings and Golden Plovers, although still around a thousand combined, plus 100 Dunlins, 4 Ruff and 3 Snipe. Once again hardly any passerines noted apart from a few Song Thrushes, 2 Stonechats and several flocks of a hundred or so Starlings. As for raptors, 16 Marsh Harriers to roost; also noted 2 Buzzards and singles of Peregrine and Sparrowhawk. As the light faded Bearded Tits and Water Rails became more vocal and the Common Crane flew in to roost along with several hundred Greylags, Mutes and lastly the wild swans. Finished off with a cracking perched Barn Owl at Hawthorn Corner on the way home.

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