Sunday, 30 December 2012

New Patch Tick

Just lately birding around Gayhurst Quarry has been rather hard work.
  What with the incredible amount of rain we've had recently the water level has raised considerably meaning most of the islands and muddy shoreline has disappeared, making it unsuitable for any wading birds.
Not to mention that it's almost impossible to walk around the bottom end of the lakes
 We are also smack bang in the middle of the shooting season so any birds that are there are spooked very easily.
 Today didn't look as though it would be any different.
Of course there were the usual large flocks of Mallards and Wigeon, 50 or so Tufted Ducks, only 5 Gadwall and a solitary drake Pochard.
Three Little Egrets and three Herons stood in the flooded field between the rivers.
It was on Motorway Pit where most of the birds were gathered as this is where the feed is put down for them. Some 400 Greylags and about 50 Canada Geese were taking advantage of this and I counted 86 Mute Swans on the Pit. While checking through for any rarer winter visitors I noticed two smaller birds - a pair of Shelduck. While not a scarce species nationally, we do get very few in the county and these were the first I had seen at Gayhurst in almost 10 years of watching regularly. My 129th species for the site.
 They did go for a fly around at one point but dropped back down in to what they obviously felt was the safety of the large Swan flock.
 I make no apologies for the record shot below.

 A flock of 31 Golden Plover was a bonus flying over along with 60 odd Lapwing.

1 comment:

  1. It's always nice to get a new tick on the patch Rob.
    Here's to a few more in the coming new year. Have a great 2013...[;o)