Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A Morning On The Marsh

Yesterday morning I headed out to the marsh in the cold overcast conditions. It wasn't as cold as the day before, but the southeasterly wind was still biting.

I had a look on the pools first but they were quiet with just three Little Grebes, 30 Coots, a male Pochard and five Tufted Ducks. A singing Song Thrush indicated that perhaps spring was just round the corner, but there's still a fair bit of winter to go through first. A Magpie carrying nest material presumably thought that spring was just around the corner too!

 Tufted Duck

As I headed out along the saltmarsh to have a look at the Gulls on the tip I flushed a male Pheasant. Hardly noteworthy I can here you say but they are relatively scarce on the patch and I only ever record one or two a year! I was hoping for a few Twite but had to make do with four Reed Buntings, six Rock Pipits and fifteen Goldfinches.

I edged over to the mudflats alongside the river and had a look at the waders and wildfowl. My totals included 173 Wigeon, 32 Oystercatchers, ten Mallards, 629 Lapwings, seven Teal, a male Eider and 46 Shelducks.

I had a look through the Gulls and just counted them in one section and had 16 Black-headed Gulls, 440 Herring Gulls, a 4CY Yellow-legged Gull, six Great Black-backed Gulls and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

 Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls

Back on drier land I had a calling Water Rail, a male Sparrowhawk and five Long-tailed Tits along the ditch and scrub. On the small reedy pool close by were another seven Mallards and seventeen Teal.

On my way back home I called to see if there were any Turnstones about that needed feeding, but as the tide was yet to run in they hadn't been pushed on to our feeding area.

It looks like the cold snap will end shortly and a return to mild and wet weather will ensue, but hopefully I can get out again whilst it's dry before that happens!

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