Tuesday of this week saw me taking a walk down to the estuary before the rain came in. The wind had dropped and I had a pleasant couple of hours not seeing very much but enjoying myself very much nevertheless.
At this time of year the walk down to the estuary through the Hawthorn 'tunnel' is generally very quiet without the breeding warbler assemblage that accompanies you in spring and summer. I headed to my vantage point on the saltmarsh and had a scan of the river. It's amazing how no two visits to the estuary are the same even on the same day, as there are so many variables affecting the bird numbers; weather, state of the tide, disturbance by raptors etc.
Scanning from left to right I picked out 517 Lapwings, 18 Curlews, nine Golden Plovers (although there looked to be good numbers further upstream with some Lapwing), 60 Dunlins, 49 Herring Gulls, 14 Mallards, 120 Wigeons, 126 Redshanks, 23 Shelducks, 97 Black-headed Gulls, 14 Common Gulls and two Grey Herons. Walking back towards the scrub I had three Rock Pipits, none of them on deck but flying over me calling.
In the scrub alongside the pool were four Goldcrests, three Song Thrushes and two Long-tailed Tits. On the pool itself was a lack of variety with just 50 Tufted Ducks, three Goldeneyes, two Little Grebes and three Teal.
Twenty of the fifty Tufteds
Over the past few days I have been keeping my two feeding stations topped up and my feeding station in the water treatment works seems very busy with all the feeders emptying in just a few days. All I need is a decent day to see exactly what's there, or even better a morning calm enough to do some ringing. Sunday is looking like a possibility but I have probably put paid to that by mentioning it!
At my farmland bird feeding station this morning in the near gale force winds and showers it was pleasing to note that the Tree Sparrows have now found the food and alongside three Yellowhammers and 14 Chaffinches were 17 of the little beauties.
I am satisfying my 'inner folk' tonight that occasionally breaks through my rock/prog exterior as I am off to Macnhester to see Show of Hands. Look them on the tinterweb and I don't think you will be disappointed; a folk band with rock sensibilities!