Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Wheldrake Ings

I managed to accrue a TOIL day today due to the unsociable nature of my recent surveys so I though I'd make the most of the opportunity and have a day birding over at Wheldrake Ings.

The weather was beautiful to start with, with clear blue skies and little wind, clouding over and gradually becoming cooler.

Waterfowl was in abundance today, as would be expected given the time of year and the many birds I've seen in the Lower Derwent Valley over the last few days and as such many species were not counted due to sheer numbers. However, the figures below are a guide. The last few days have seen an adult Caspian Gull and a juvenile Glaucous Gull coming into the gull roost on the reserve but due to personal time constraints I wasn't able to hang around until dusk this time. My highlight today was a couple of Egyptian Goose that were viewed distantly from Tower Hide.

Egyptian Goose © Andreas Trepte 2008

Other species recorded included (from Swantail Hide):

5410 Wigeon, 2005 Teal, 940 Mallard, 111 Pochard, 93 Pintail, 62 Coot, 36 Gadwall, 30 Tufted Duck, 28 Mute Swan, 17 Shoveler, 10 Goldeneye, 9 Cormorant, 6 Shelduck, 1 Moorhen, 1 Pink-footed Goose, several hundred Canada Goose and Greylag Goose (and assorted hybrids/feral geese) and 59 Lapwing and 2 Snipe.

Waders from Tower Hide during the afternoon included: 275 Lapwing, 193 Dunlin, 78 Golden Plover and 32 Ruff. Numbers of gulls started building up during the early afternoon made up by Herring, Common, Great Black-backed and Black-headed but they were fairly distant and well packed. Nothing rarer whilst I was there. Wildfowl included all of the above species with Teal and Wigeon in larger numbers than were recorded at Swantail Hide.

Raptors recorded included a single Sparrowhawk and a single Buzzard (with the addition of a single Barn Owl near home this evening).

A very enjoyable day. Hopefully I'll get down there over the weekend and make the gull roost proper.

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