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Saturday, 13 February 2021

Plenty of Plovers

Not quite as cold in air temperature today, but the freezing easterly wind continued (although with a good degree of south in it now).  The waders have kept coming as well, in fact today saw the most significant increase in Lapwing and Golden Plover numbers.

Flocks of Lapwing were all over the place, with many fields on west facing slopes harbouring huddled groups.  My highest count of Golden Plover for today was 150; I really hate it when a count comes out at a round number, but I literally had one flock of 86 and another of 64! I really enjoyed seeing them up close for a change...




And with this increase came a Ruff, which spent the day opposite Stedcombe Valley.  Thanks for the message Kev...


And now to summarise the best of the last few days. Yesterday a drake Gadwall was with the Wigeon north of Coronation Corner, maybe not a new arrival as it could well be the same bird responsible for sporadic records since 1st Jan...


Four Shovelers (a drake and three females) have been around for a couple of days now, and on Thursday the Greylag Goose flock which has been at seven for months, suddenly numbered nine!  Staying with Thursday, offshore a few Red-throated Divers and a Common Scoter flew west, 12 Dunlin flew east with five Med Gulls loitering.  A Ringed Plover was a new arrival on the Estuary, the first of the year, and at home a Redpoll flew over calling whilst I was in the garden.

All week the Axe has been blessed with incredible numbers of gulls, and I mean really impressive numbers.  But despite all my looking there's been no stand-out highlights...



Although on Thursday afternoon this big, dark and very juvenile Herring Gull gave me all the impressions it was probably an argentatus, but at the range it was I couldn't do anything with it...


And finally I was lucky enough to see one the local Otters again on Friday, albeit briefly.  At the back of Bridge Marsh I noticed all the Canada Geese stick their necks up and semi-flush, then an Otter came bounding across the grass and disappeared down into the River Coly!

The temperatures are rising quite rapidly now, it's going to be 9 degrees here tomorrow.  Am hoping the recent movement will keep producing some decent sightings however as birds reorientate.  Be sure to keep checking in here to read all about it.

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