Friday 10 December 2010

Counting Coots

Although it is noticeable milder this morning, it wasn't yesterday morning! In fact, for the first time since this cold weather descended upon us, yesterday morning there was actually ice on the river...

Not a common sight at all!

It is was good day for Coot yesterday; I'm pretty sure I smashed the previous highest day count for the patch. Four at Lower Bruckland Ponds and eight on the Estuary weren't anything special or unexpected, but the flock of 18 on the sea were...

Making a total of exactly 30 Coot!

There was a drake Pochard attached to this Coot flock (though it's nearly entirely hidden in the above photo), and a gorgeous pair of Goosanders flew west, including the first adult male I've seen during this cold snap. Two Eider and five Common Scoter were off Seaton Hole, with a further 14 Common Scoters off Branscombe.

To complete yesterday's sightings; 12
Gadwall were on the river (a flock of 11 and one with the Wigeon), the Yellow Wagtail was still at Colyford WTW and four Chiffchaffs were at Branscombe WTW.

This morning, a look over the sea was again eventful. Another two Goosanders flew west, and landed on the sea near the Chine Cafe (both female-types), a immature drake Eider flew in from the south, then east (with the two still off Seaton Hole with five Common Scoters) and best of all, an immature Velvet Scoter was settled on the sea with three female Common Scoters just to the east. I presume the same bird I found last week?

A quick look up the river valley showed nothing unusual, but at least 1,020 Wigeon were feeding on Colyford Marsh, here's some of them...

This was the densest part of the three flocks

Closer to home, in fact AT home, the garden has been full of birds during the cold weather. Song Thrushes are very scarce here, but we've had at least three hanging about lately...

...always quite skittish though, so this was a hard photo to get!

And most days at least two Blackcaps can be seen, though there were four (three females and a male) on Tuesday morning...

Eyeing up that apple core

And as I write this there's a flock of six Redwing feeding in our berry tree - just a pity there's no Waxwings in with them!!

Lastly, the colour-ringed Med Gull I saw a few days ago; White 3N93. Well I knew I'd seen this bird before, and I had - on the 3rd of Feb this year! (see HERE). Between that sighting and this sighting there's been no other reports of him/her.

There'll be no more birding for me over the next few days, so roll on next week..... Oh, but just before I do go, anyone know who saw the 5+ Bewick's Swans at Colyford Common on 8/12/10!??

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