Sunday, 13 February 2011

North Duffield to Dusk

I had a quick hour over at the Geoff Smith Hide at North Duffield Carrs this evening. The water looked like the North Sea as it was fairly windy and the visibility was generally poor so many birds were tucked up along the edges if the water and along the sheltered banks (and hence out of view).

Several passerines were around the feeders, tonnes of Tree Sparrows and Reed Bunting with Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits, Robin, Dunnock, Wren and Chaffinch. Several Pied Wagtails were noted flying through.

Several 'new' birds were present since my last visit mid-week, e.g 6x Curlew, 2x Redshank and 3x Oystercatcher. Shoveler and Pochard numbers were up on my last visit, (in a similar fashion to Wheldrake yesterday for Shoveler). On the water and wet grassland the following were recorded: 55x Shoveler, 3500x Wigeon, 1500x Teal, 57 Pochard, 2 Goldeneye (1male and 1 female), 12x Tufted Duck, 50x Pintail, 150x Mallard, 5x Gadwall, 1x Shelduck, 18x Coot, 3x Moorhen, 1x Little Grebe, 1x Black Swan, 1x Whooper Swan (with an apparently damaged wing) and 12x Mute Swans.

Geese numbers were down to 5 Canada and 7 Greylag. However the main reason for my visit was to watch the Swans come in to roost - spectacular sight and sound. I'd counted 150x Mute and Whooper Swans feeding in the fields just before I went to the hide. At about 16.45 they started flying onto the water. After about 10 minutes of birds coming in there totalled 104 Whooper and 67 Mute Swans (with 1 Black Swan still present). It's interesting watching them fly in as family groups and bob their heads up and down calling to each other when they land before they get to feeding!

Whooper Swans in flight © Jeremy Early 2011. Check out Jeremys excellent photos here.

No Barn Owl tonight, probably due to the persistent rain and wind. A nice relaxing end to the weekend.

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