Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Wednesday 11th November

A huge passage of 751 Gannet (third best ever count in November here), 207 Kittiwake and many auks spp flew south mostly during the first 90 minutes of daylight in a stiff southerly wind. Also ten Common Scoter, five Red-throated Diver and two Great Northern Diver.

On Main Pond, four (3 drake, 1 female) Shoveler and the long-billed female Mallard, a Little Grebe, Moorhen and Water Rail

The woodlands and bushes, single-figures of tits, six Goldcrest, two Firecrest with one that favoured thick Ivy foliage for cover; just two Chiffchaff, a Song Thrush, Bullfinch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

On the incoming mid-afternoon tide, counts of waterbirds included 657 Wigeon, 340 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 131 Dunlin, 103 Redshank, 51 Teal, 39 Grey Plover, 38 Shelduck, 34 Turnstone, 32 Ringed Plover, 31 Great Black-backed Gull, 20 Cormorant, 16 Knot, nine Common Gull, five Lesser Black-backed Gull, five Mute Swan, five Greenshank, three Little Egret, three Common Snipe in the saltmarsh; two Grey Heron, one Black-tailed Godwit, an adult Mediterranean Gull, the drake Eider and the Slavonian Grebe.  No counts were managed today of the Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Herring Gull and Black-headed Gull.

A Short-eared Owl flew over the golf course; this now totals 9 bird-days for the second half of the year with 7 weeks still to go.  The average (1970-2019) for this period is 6 bird-days, so 2020 appears to have been a good breeding season.  Research indicates relationships between the 3-4 year cyclical abundance of voles to Short-eared Owl breeding success that then leads to common, sometimes abundant and widespread overwinter dispersal.  By shifting site data to sum Jul to Jun, instead of the more normal Jan to Dec period, to present more clearly the combined autumn and winter bird-days totals, a roughly cyclical pattern just about emerged, interspersed periodically with influxes or/ and long-stayers, even at our rather small site.  

data analysis and presentation - Ivan Lakin

More regularly seen additional species today were 60+ Starling around the carpark, four Skylark on Warren Point, four Rock Pipit and a Kestrel.

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