Monday, 2 January 2017

Saltmarsh Sunrise

The days are starting to lengthen a bit already and this is more noticeable in the evening rather than the morning for some reason, so first light still isn't that early, but nevertheless I was out at first light on the estuary watching the sun rise. It was cold with a ground frost, clear skies and relatively calm with just a hint of a northerly


As I walked along the edge of the inward edge of the saltmarsh I pushed a few Skylarks from the creek edges and there were eight in total. There was also good numbers of Reed Buntings and I had respectable count of 31. There was also a mixed flock of Linnets and Twite with a split of perhaps 40/20. From the reedbed I had a calling Water Rail and a few more Reed Buntings.

 Reed Bunting (above & below)

There were a number of Gulls flying to the river to bathe and loaf on the exposed sand banks. I picked my way across the marsh putting four Rock Pipits up in the process and set my scope up at the edge of the saltmarsh. The gull flock contained 271 Herring Gulls, 46 Great Black-backed Gulls, 85 Black-headed Gulls, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, a Common Gull and best of all an adult Yellow-legged Gull.

 Pied Wagtail

There was a few wildfowl on the river including 35 Wigeons, 75 Teal, 30 Mallards and 7 Shelducks. Waders were less represented with just 80 Lapwings. Towards the mouth of the river I could see more waders and wildfowl, but they were realistically beyond the range of my optics.

I had a look on the pools on my way back and was pleased to see that there was still at least five Bearded Tits. Coot numbered 64 and Tufted Ducks 20.

On my way home I had a look in the woodland and allotments and was pleased to count 40 House Sparrows! The woodland was quiet other than a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a good winter count of seven Goldcrests.

I'd better do some work tomorrow before heading to my feeding station to do a seed drop!

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