Archive for October 9th, 2007

9th October 2007, Tuesday

WeBS

… or the Wetland Bird Survey, is a national monthly count co-ordinated by the BTO. In the RX area this is carried out by a team of about a ten counters and the figures are fed through to the national total. For the monthly totals in 2006 click here. There are 15 species in the RX area that exceeded the national 1% threshold, and 4 over the 5% figure – Great Crested Grebe, White-fronted Goose, Smew and Ruff.

9th October 2007, Tuesday

Pannel Valley NR – Moths

It was a surprise to see a larger number of moths than were present yesterday. This morning there were 109 moths of 33 species. The first Mottled Umber and Brindled Green of the year were caught.

9th October 2007, Tuesday

Powdermill Reservoir

Sunday 7th October 2007

Once again I arrived for my monthly WeBS count to find the reservoir thick with fog, just one or two gloomy Coot-shapes visible.

Some overhead migrant could obviously see down through it, and Chaffinches, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails were dropping down to the dam.

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9th October 2007, Tuesday

Pett Level

With rain forecast for mid-morning, I made a quick tour of the west end of the marsh. There’s far less variety than last week, with visible migration dominated by Goldfinches, Linnets and Pied Wagtails, accompanied by a few Meadow Pipits (most are on the ground), Chaffinches, Skylarks and a single flock of Redpolls.

Blue and Great Tits are very numerous as they move through the hedgerows and then along the marsh ditches. A large party of Long-tailed Tits was moving eastwards at Toot Rock, ending up in the last blackthorns, looking uncertainly out across open, unfriendly, country. Around here, these species are so widespread and numerous that it’s hard to determine which are migrants. At watch-points on the bare Dutch coast, however, large counts are sometimes made.
Shoals of fish close inshore attracted up to 65 Cormorants in a tight group. Fishing was evidently easy, the birds just slipping briefly under the water to emerge with wriggling silver prey.

Waders are far fewer now. There were just 15 Redshank, 3 Dunlin and a Black-tailed Godwit this morning.

A few Rock Pipits (below) continue to frequent the beach by Pett Pools, providing a useful opportunity to distinguish them from the many Meadow Pipits foraging nearby. They usually attract attention by their shrill call, and always look darker and duller than MPs. They are often found lower on the beach, or perched on the groynes.
Rock Pipit

9th October 2007, Tuesday

Beach Reserve

The Dotterel was again present amongst 500+ Golden Plover on Flat Beach Flood this morning, Merlin and Peregrine were also hunting in the area. On the shore 23 Sandwich Tern, an Arctic Skua and 20 Gannet fishing very close inshore. Yesterday at least 15 Razorbill were close inshore and 5 Avocet passed over Flat Beach.

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A rather distant shot of the Dotterel with Golden Plover