Sunday, 9 November 2014

Wildfowl & harriers

Lade - mild, cloudy, light airs - 0900hrs - WeBS count day, which we managed to do before the rain returned by late morning. Once again Coots were the most numerous with 840 counted, plus an impressive 21 Dabchicks. Also, three Stonechats and 20 Blackbirds on the shingle ridges, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and 200 Lapwings behind the `mirrors`, while Water Rail and Cetti`s Warbler called from the willow swamp. On the walk back Grey Plover and Curlew flew over calling.
Walland Marsh - 1500hrs - Accompanied Marshman on the monthly harrier roost count this afternoon, in what turned out to be perfect weather conditions, dry, still and sunny. At least four Buzzards and a Kestrel were present, plus small flocks of finches, Lapwings and Starlings over, but there were few wildfowl about due to shooting activity over by the reservoir. Around the reedbed Water Rails and Cetti`s Warblers were vocal and singles of Snipe and Jack Snipe broke cover, also Stonechat, Mipit, Skylark, Reed Bunting and Grey Heron noted. As dusk approached various flocks of corvids drifted over en-route to roost sites, and in came the Marsh Harriers for the night, all 24 of `em, mostly immatures, but also two cracking adult males, and a pretty decent count for so early on in the winter.

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