Monday, 21 January 2013

Should Have Been Better

I know Gav shared my optimism about today - with freezing temperatures over night we were hoping for some wildfowl action. 

Any aythya here is a goodie; Tufted Duck is the most regular (usually get several a year), Pochard - we didn't get one last year but usually get one or two, Scaup - well the last one was at least twenty years ago, and anything else from that family would be a first for the patch!  Smew was also on my radar for today, and Goosander!!!  Bloody Goosanders.

Anyway, none of the above happened.  There did seem to be more Wigeon and Teal around today, and whilst sea watching this morning, the only slightly notable event were four Shelduck that flew in from the south and then west.

I have had several looks along the Estuary today; the wintering Bar-tailed Godwit and nine Shoveler were as good as it got. 

It's still here!

Around the top end of the river (Bridge Marsh, Boshill Cross), there's been a few Golden Plovers all day (no more than about ten), but at 15:45 there were about 800!  And an hour later, around 1,700!!! I would like to claim that epic count as mine, well 118 of them were mine - Gav counted the other 1,582!  This is easily the most I've ever seen here, they are obvious roosting or pre-roosting here.  I'll be back again tomorrow, earlier, to have a proper look through them. Caspian Plover anyone?

Had another patch walk with Jess yesterday, we went up the Coly to Colyton, then back home via Colyford. With the surrounding hills looking like this still...

 ...there were thrushes EVERYWHERE! Epic numbers, flying over and on the deck. Also several Skylark.  The alders alongside the Coly held many Goldfinches, about ten Siskins, and exactly zero Redpolls.

It's going to be freezing again tonight - hopefully this will do it! A Bittern wouldn't go a miss...

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