Thursday, 3 December 2009

December Counting

CORN BUNTINGS are back roosting for the winter in Marsworth Reedbed and Northern Shovelers galore are feeding there (pictures by kind courtesy of Mike Lawrence, one of the UK's foremost bird photographers)


A 12mph Westerly wind carried very cold conditions to our area today with temperatures struggling to just 5 degrees C. It remained dry but was extremely sodden underfoot, with heavy cloud cover.

I carried out my first December counts at the reservoirs - most pleasing was the return of roosting CORN BUNTINGS on Marsworth........


Great Crested Grebe (now 18 present, an exceptional gathering on this reservoir in winter)
Northern Shoveler (133 busy 'shovelling' close to the reedbed and affording fantastic views)
*CORN BUNTINGS (46 came in to roost in the reedbed)


Great Crested Grebe (2)
Mute Swan (8)
Gadwall (1 drake)
Common Teal (28)
Shoveler (8)
Tufted Duck (36)
Pochard (11)
Coot (increase to 173)

(1545-1615 hours)

Great Crested Grebe (11)
Mute Swan (12)
Greylag Geese (57)
Atlantic Canada Geese (48)
Common Teal (211)
Gadwall (22)
Eurasian Wigeon (313)
Shoveler (15)
Tufted Duck (73)
Pochard (27)
GREATER SCAUP (juvenile still present in SW quadrant)
COMMON GOLDENEYE (adult pair together, my belated first of the 'winter' at the site)
Lapwing (200+)
EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVERS (242 roosting on central spit)

The Gull Roost

Very impressive this evening with no less than 3,289 birds in by dark, including the two regular MEDITERRANEAN GULLS (first and second-winter), the albinistic Black-headed Gull, 3,244 Black-headed Gulls in total, 37 COMMON GULLS (mostly adults) and 6 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls pre-roost.

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