It was WeBS count day today and, due to work commitments, this is the first one for a few months. It was a dull start to the day and I was a recovering so I left the car at home and headed off towards the first pit of the day by the A38. With snow on the ground and it being very cold, 99% of the pool was frozen. There was a small bit of water in the middle that had a load of ducks and grebes on and by the spit was bare but otherwise solid white. Birds seen were Blackbird, Cormorant, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Canada Geese, Wren, Starling, Bullfinch, Robin, Redwing, Dunnock, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Mallard, Greylag Geese, Coot, Redshank, Snipe, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, Blue Tit, Mallard and Little Grebe. I will give the results of the WeBS count at the end. Now it was a hop over the railway onto the next site.
19-12-10, National Arboretum.
This site is not covered by me on the WeBS count but the Junction Pit and Croxall are so I was checking out the ducks on the river as I walked to Croxall. Birds seen around the arboretum whilst passing through were Skylark 8 flew over, Teal, Mallard, Snipe, Robin, Carrion Crow, Moorhen, Dunnock, Wren, Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Goldeneye, Teal, Blackbird, Great Tit, Fieldfare, Goosander, Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Redwing, Cormorant, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pheasant and a Buzzard.
19-12-10, Junction Pit.
A short diversion for the Junction Pit left me very disappointed with only a single Grey Heron standing on the 100% iced pool. A Reed Bunting was calling nearby and a Wood Pigeon flew over. Staggering, not.
19-12-10, Croxall GP.
After the last visit, the main pool has now completely frozen over so counting ducks and waders was pretty easy. 9. 9 Mallards were sitting on the ice looking pretty fed up. I then caught up with a group of birders led by Dave Scattergood and we had a quiet walk upto the river to have a look at the birds on the river. Then it was home for a desperately needed breakfast. Birds noted were Kestrel, Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Skylark, Redwing, Grey Heron, Blackbird, Magpie, Bullfinch, Mallard, Lapwing, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Snipe, Redshank, Teal, Goldeneye, Robin, Kingfisher great views of two birds feeding by the river, had to drag myself away, Goosander, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Wood Pigeon and Pheasant. The new wides at Croxall are an excellent new habitat but the birds are very edgy and it is impossible to walk around that area without upsetting the birds. With this and the frozen ground and pools I decided not to upset the birds and head back home instead.
I popped up to the marina to count the birds on the nearby pool and didnt do a proper birdwatch.
I will post the bird count later after going through ny notes.
This is the last post till xmas as I am working until 5pm xmas eve. I then go on call for a week, until NewYears Eve but I will be out doing local birding as usual.
Merry Christmas to all the readers.