Sunday, 19 January 2014

WeBS & Harriers

Lade - sunny, mild, s 2 - Once the early morning showers had passed through it turned into a cracking spring-like day, ideal for counting ducks and harriers. First off the pits where numbers were slightly down on last month, but with 412 Coots the most numerous; highlights being eight Goldeneye and the winters first Smew on north pit. At least four Marsh Harriers were active, plus Sparrowhawk and a few passerines in song such as Great Tit and Song Thrush.

                                White-fronted Geese, Walland Marsh

Walland Marsh - 1400hrs - Together with Marshman a terrific session here on a stunning afternoon with light airs and clear skies. Raptors were the order of the day with 18 Marsh Harriers coming to roost in `our` reedbed, all of which were sub-adult/adult, males or females. Other BOPs were: 4 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, Peregrine and a distant `grey ghost` Hen Harrier, courtesy of a PB tip off. Two Barn Owls were out and about, one of which was seen to catch a small rodent. Small birds were few and far between but single figures of Mipit, Pied Wagtail, Stonechat, Reed Bunting and `pinging` Bearded Tit noted along with calling Water Rail at dusk. Thousands of Starlings and Lapwings were in the area, plus a single Great White Egret and Common Snipe; but best of all was a flock of 65 White-fronted Geese that flew over and around the site calling, briefly landing, before disappearing over toward Scotney. As we returned to the car in fading light we could hear the Bewick`s Swan flock flying in to roost. Another memorable afternoon on the waterlands.

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