Sunday, 10 February 2013

Wildfowl & Harriers

Lade  - 0900hrs - Cold, cloudy, rain, se 5 - A shocker of a morning for the monthly WeBS count with heavy showers running in on a relentless south-easterly. Needless to say the wildfowl were mostly tucked in the sheltered spots around the willow scrub where only Pochard and Teal numbers were noteworthy at 355 and 212 respectively. The Black-throated Diver, now into its second week, seemed unaffected by the developing tempest as it successfully fished on north pit. Few other land birds seen due to the weather conditions.
Walland Marsh - 1600hrs - Accompanied  Marshman on the harrier count this afternoon in dreadful weather conditions with near gale force winds and driving rain and sleet. En-route to site a single Whooper Swan noted in the Bewick`s flock at Hawthorn Corner, which for a change was close to the road. Only 8 Marsh Harriers came to roost while the adult male Hen Harrier flew over low heading purposely towards Scotney. Plenty of Greylags on the fields hereabouts plus 74 White-fronts and the wintering Common Crane flying into roost. As night fell the Bewick`s Swans also came in to roost, a magical experience as they tinkled away to one another in the darkness. On the drive back to the coast the weather worsened with thick, wet snow falling.
I did wonder how many harrier counters cried off this afternoon, and stayed at home in front of the telly to watch the rugby or football...

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