Sunday, 12 February 2012

Saturday 11th February 2012 - Duck counting

It was WEBS weekend again. I had offered my assistance at Blithfield and I was counting the Deep End as per usual along with RP. Its usually a doddle as often there's not too much to count. However today was different as the bays were quite frozen and the deep end was full of birds. My first struggle was with a mixed flock of c750 Greylag Geese and Canada Geese. Then I met a flock of 700+ Wigeon to count along with some more geese. As a reward though, as I started to walk over the dam, the Black Redstart was showing very well on the overflow. (Ironically, I found the Black Redstart on the December duck count, and its survived to the February count and still going strong).

This group of Dunlin were happily roosting in a field by the side of the res
Thoroughly exhausted by all the counting, we headed off to the pits for a rest. It was a beautiful sunny day by now, and walking across the snowy sheep field with the sun beating down was quite blinding!

I paused by the style again as the open area of water was right by the path again. I noticed some geese sitting on the ice just to my right, and one was obviously smaller than the Canada's. Unfortunately, I was looking into the light and the glare, and it took a few moments to realise it was a 1w White-fronted Goose - another site tick for me! I checked through the other geese just to see if it was the flock of seven White-fronts from Knypersley, but they were all Greylags.

1w White-fronted Goose at Branston GP
The Sandy Pit was frozen again, but the other pits were slightly more productive, with five Dunlin, two Ruff, a Redshank and most surprising of all, last weeks Knot was still present.

Above - Red-legged Partridge, Teal and Redshank at BGP's.