Wet Moor (massively flooded again!)this morning; 50+ Tufted Duck, 8 Pochard 1000+ dabblers mostly Wigeon but a few Shoveler also. Sea conditions though make any accurate assessment difficult. In the evening a growing gull roost of 2000+ mostly BHG but also a few Common Gull. Singing Song Thrush cheered a gloomy? prospect.
Greeting from Hambridge -on-sea ! Re your Black-headed Gulls Nigel , for the last week from about 8.10am till 8.30 have been watching long ,straggly almost continuous streams of ,(mainly Black-heads)flying over Westport heading S.West into the wind. Presumably they are coming off of their roost on nearby Westmoor and heading out to feed on the fields.Haven't tried counting them as I don't want to drown in the rain , yesterday got hammered by the biggest Hailstones I've ever seen - white hailstones surrounded by clear ice which measured 1.9 cms across !
For the non technically minded 1.9cm is 3/4"
And for the technically minded 1.9cm is 19mm.
I am not yet a resident of the Southern Ocean but with the waves lapping closer and closer to the village of Barrington, it's coming mighty close.
When it finally stopped raining this afternoon and I needed to do something other than finish off the last of the mince pies, so I popped out to the gardens at Barrington Court.
The numbers of winter thrushes are quite low this year but that is probably due to the mild weather allowing them to feed in the fields until later in the season. I had make do with jackdaws, wood pigeon and grey squirrels.
Better than nothing, I suppose.
Over 100 Tufted Duck and 30 Pochard this morning, NO Smew or Goldeneye as yet though..........
The gull roost yesterday afternoon was estimated at over 5000 in two massive flocks stretching in white 'streaks' over one kilometre from one side of moor to other.
One possibly six (vis and sea state made id difficult) Goosander this morning (perhsps those from Westhay?
Will try again for positive id this afternoon.
One drake Goldeneye present yesterday. About 5000 duck present currently but too distant and poor light made id very difficult. The only raptors on daily visits these past three weeks have been one Ketrel one Buzzard! Very strange.
A Great Crested Grebe this morning and 300 Pintail, 2000 Wigeon, 1000 Teal, 150 Tufted Duck, 30 Pochard during a preliminary WeBS count (well there's a lot of water and if the light is bad on Sunday!). No sign of Goldeneye but given the extent of flooding etc.........
Five Great Crested Grebes this afternoon, which is a site record. What they are finding to eat is anyones guess? Yesterdays WeBS was much as previous post with not a single Shoveler which must also be a site record!
Nigel, I think all the Shoveler were at Ham Wall, on our WeBS today we counted 360 from the 2nd viewing platform alone!
Another 100 on Noah's lake on the WeBS count yesterday morning along with over 800 Wigeon and the highest ever count, 73 Pintail. Predictably, we didn't record any Little Egrets as they all seem to be out on the flooded moors.
Four Egyptian Geese at 'waterworld' this afternoon. A Somerset first for me I think. Appear genuinely feral as they are not ringed so presumably have not walked out of someones back garden, they seem very tame though, is this usual?
If these are birds that were at Chew Valley Lake in December then you could probably get them to eat out of your hand!
Two drake Goldeneye this morning looking wonderaful as usual in the morning sunlight. Anything rather than Wigeon, Wigeon, Wigeon, Wigeon, Wigeon and the odd Pintail................!
Drake courting a duck Goldeneye in the Spring sunshine this afternoon.
So that makes four Goldeneye?
This afternoon 110 Pochard, 250+? Tufted Duck, no sign of Goldeneye though.
420 Pintail, 40 Shoveler this morning, other species much as before.
No Goldeneye, GCG or Penguin today though.
Signs of breeding behaviour amongst the many Coot and BHGs which along with some other species will come to a sticky end if this water is not gone soon!
7 x Shelduck and 2 x Great Crested Grebe today, otherwise much as before though Wigeon and Teal numbers are diminishing by the day........
Turning more into just a Sea now, with duck numbers steadily dwindling, only 4 Pintail, 8 Shelduck yesterday and NO Lapwing (not that there have been many!). 3 Cranes present, together with 4 pairs of Great Crested Grebe doing their displays, Coot and Black Headed Gulls also getting more fervent in their Springtime activites. Lets hope the water is soon gone,that way we may just get some breeding Lapwing,Curlew and Snipe?