Archive for December 17th, 2008
A succession of industrial uses have given the site its character: the coppice is Hornbeam, grown to provide charcoal for iron smelting; the pool in the foreground is an old sand-pit while the reservoir beyond was created in the 1930’s to supply the expanding town of Hastings.
The reservoir and woods around it were very very quiet today, with no other people about at all. Waterbirds were pretty similar to last month, with 55 Teal, 32 Gadwall, 20 Mallard, 15 Tufted Duck, 12 Coot, 8 Moorhen, 6 Cormorant, 4 Mandarin and single Shoveler and Little Grebe. Read the rest of this entry »
In bright sunshine this morning, I counted 782 Great Crested Grebes offshore.
Of course, even with quite a calm sea birds are diving and resurfacing and are momentarily lost in the folds of the waves.
So it could have been 783, or various other numbers. I invite others to have a go and see what variations they come up with.
There were 4 main groups: 236 between Cliff end and the Smuggler, 278 opposite Toot Rock and the W end of the marsh, 186 opposite the Pools and 82 off “3 Gates”. Further east than this there seemed to be none.
Further out, the packs of Common Scoters were denser and more continuous. I would think there could have been 2000. In addition, at least 20 divers flew across my field of view as I was counting the grebes.
Out on the marsh, 3 Marsh Harriers were soaring, harassed by Carrion Crows, a Merlin performed staggering aerobatics in the pursuit of some hapless smaller bird and 2 Ravens cruised over.
A noisy flock of 115 Greylag Geese arrived, to join the 71 Canadas already on the pools.
Tuesday 16: A red-necked grebe was seen within a few feet of the Visitor Centre mid-morning. It then did a tour of Burrowes pit before landing between Makepeace and Scott hides. A pair of smew and two pairs of red-crested pochards were seen from Christmas Dell hide and six goosanders were on the ARC pit.
Wednesday 17: A black-necked grebe at Denge Marsh, three female smew on New Excavations, two peregrines and two male hen harriers were the day’s highlights.
Now into their second month on site the female Long-tailed Duck and Scaup look set to spend the winter on north pit among the legions of diving duck, while the farmland between the pits and the airport is currently attracting several Marsh Harriers plus a ringtail Hen Harrier.