Sunday 23 June 2013

First Returning Waders

I did the WeBS count this morning over the falling tide. It was nice to see a Common Sandpiper back again, along Newton Channel. On the estuary, the only other waders were a single Redshank, 21 Curlew and two Oystercatcher. The Shelduck family with seven ducklings was still going strong. Also, two new Shelduck families have appeared with broods of two and four.

These parents were doing a good job of defending their young from gulls. Seeing as they only have two left, perhaps their efforts haven't been good enough!
Lime green NY9 was with 32 other Mute Swans. Little Egret numbers have picked up to 33. Once the tide dropped a bit, they form large feeding flocks along the water channels like this one.

I was hoping for a Med Gull in the Black-headed gulls, but there wasn’t much to look through with only 12 Black-heads. There are large numbers on the Exe wetlands – I have no idea why we don’t see large numbers on the estuary until later in the year. Perhaps the marshes offer a richer food supply which allows them to recover after breeding, and the migration back down south?

The Lesser Whitethroat (/Orphean Warbler ;)) is now being thought of as a possible Desert Lesser Whitethroat of the race margelanica rather than the local race of curruca. Whichever way, it is pretty much impossible to prove which sub-species it is with the brief and poor views obtained so far, and it's looking like the bird will need to be trapped, and DNA samples taken to positively ID it. It seems like the bird has expanded its territory now and is not being as loyal to the area where I originally found it. We heard it singing for a short period today on the other side of the river. Better trap it quick before it loses heart and moves off!

No comments:

Post a Comment