Sunday, 25 November 2012

North Duffield: Sunday Special

Loads more rain here overnight (with loads more forecast tonight), lots of standing water in the fields around here now with many of the field-drains near to bursting point.  I popped over to North Duffield this afternoon for a short while to see how things were shaping up down there and not surprisingly the water levels were much higher than yesterday.

The area preferred by the Bittern over the last couple of weeks is now largely underwater. A few areas around the edge of the pool still seem suitable for it to forage but you'd have to imagine that the amount of water in the area has pushed it elsewhere.

The change in water levels has seen a change in species present too.  Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Gadwall and Mallard numbers were dramatically down (or absent) but numbers of Tufted Duck and Pochard were up (or just easier to see due to the lack of the above!) - I think new birds in. Also present today was between 4 and 6 Goldeneye.  There was also a Little Grebe present - first one I've seen here since earlier in the year (late winter/early spring) I think.

Also, the Scaup that has been present on the reserve for at least 3 weeks was again showing on the river, was here on Thursday and yesterday in more-or-less the same place! (record shot off phone, in near darkness below)

Scaup (phone-scoped in near darkness)

The Barn Owls were again showing well, 2 distant and 2 much closer in.

There was a flock of at least 20 Ruff and 3 Dunlin roosting on a raised bank and several dozen Lapwing about. Swan and Geese numbers were down on the reserve, but there was plenty of distant geese over towards Aughton.

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