Tuesday 29 September 2020

Tuesday 29th September

The favourable conditions and birding effort produced a series of waterbird counts, mostly from the evening tide and these included 887 Oystercatcher, 803 Wigeon, 257 Curlew, 253 Teal, 174 Dunlin, 121 Canada Goose, no oddities in them; 52 Dark-bellied Brent Goose (no hrota today), 22 Mute Swan, 15 Grey Plover, ten Little Egret, nine Greenshank, eight Sandwich Tern, three Turnstone, two Grey Heron, two Mallard, a Pintail and 'Herbert' the Slavonian Grebe re-appeared, in moult.  Also three-figures of Redshank and two-figures of Cormorant, Great Black-backed Gull, Bar-tailed Godwit and Knot present. Just 28 Common Scoter noted offshore.

Overhead in the morning, some of the 15 Skylark and seven Meadow Pipit, four Swallow, two Jackdaw and two Rook.  Counting common resident species, such as the handful of corvids seen today, is the 'grass-roots' of patch-birding and if that commitment is sustained for years and decades, the wider birding and scientific community can benefit. For example, the seminal Migration Atlas (Wernham et al. 2002) explains that British and Irish Rook are sedentary with only a 4 km median distance of dead recoveries and only exceptionally have ringed birds been recovered abroad.  However, influxes of Rook from the Continent into Britain occur, the majority during Oct to May, with recoveries from the Netherlands and as far as the Baltic states.  So, when decades of records are collated and analysed, even the Rook can reveal something quite amazing; see chart below. 

data courtesy of countless dedicated birds; collation and analysis by Ivan Lakin

In the bushes, 14 Chiffchaff, four Blackcap, a Goldcrest and single-figures of tits.  Popular counted regular species were five Stonechat, two Collared Dove, two Bullfinch, a Kestrel and a Raven.  

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