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Bird Reports 2012

Bird report index Bird report 2011

January 2012

One or 2 Little Grebe, 20+ Great Crested Grebe. Generally a few Grey Heron and up to 3 Little Egrets were on the lake margins. Mute Swan count of 21 on 7th, 7 Greylag Geese on 21st, 2 Snow Geese on the 17th. 66 Canada Geese on the 17th and 44 Egyptian Geese on the 17th. 16 Barnacle Geese on 12th and 40 on the17th. Cormorants present most times with a maximum of 40 on 13th.

A monthly maximum count of 47 Goosander at roost on the 13th with 40 on the 6th. A single male Goldeneye spent most of the month on Grove Lake. 249 Wigeon on 7th and 271 on 21st. Maximum of 63 Gadwall on 7th. on the 18th, 70 Tufted Ducks on the 13th. 26 Mallard on the 7th. Teal present in small numbers. 29 Shoveler on the 7th, 22 Pochard on 7th. 219 Coot on 18th. 2 Shelduck on 12th, and singles on 25th and 27th. A pair of Pintail on 7th and the female seemed to remained to the end of the month, but was often elusive.

Sightings of one or 2 Red Kite. Up to 3 Buzzards reported regularly. A single Kestrel regularly seen on Manor Farm, as were Peregrines, at least one adult and on the 30th, a juvenile. Regular sightings of Sparrowhawk.

Water Rails seen at Grove scrape, and from the screen on CLS. Daily Lapwing counts between 100 to a maximum of 270 on 25th. A maxim count of 6 Snipe on the 6th. Only 3 sightings of a single Green Sandpiper all month, including one sighting of the Dutch ringed bird.

Maximum Gull counts for the month: 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull on 25th, 4 Herring Gulls on the 13th. 61 Common Gulls on 2nd and no record of Black-headed Gulls, but there were some present.

2 Barn Owl seen on 15th, probably present all month. One or 2 Little Owls resident on Manor Farm area, often perched in the sunshine.

Male Stonechat on Honey Field on 14 dates, including a female on 2 dates. A few Skylarks reported on 3 dates and Meadow Pipits on 17th and 27th. Grey and Pied Wagtails present. All the five common Thrushes present, but not in large numbers.

Flocks of finches with Linnets, Siskins (up to 100), a few Lesser Redpolls. Bullfinches (often around the path to Colebrook Hide), and Chaffinches, Greenfinches with Reed Buntings on the feeders by the hide.

February 2012

The first two weeks of February were practically continuous frost and most of the lakes were frozen over. Waterfowl were confined to small areas of open water on the north of Colebrook North and Grove Lakes.

The Goosander roost on Grove Lake peaked at 67 on the 3rd. The single male Goldeneye spent most of the month on Grove or Colebrook Lake. A female Smew was present from 4th to 23rd.Up to 4 Little Grebe (on the 20th), 15+ Great Crested Grebe. Generally a few Grey Heron and up to 3 Little Egrets were on the lake margins. A Bittern was found on Grove Lake on the 13th and seen again on the 19th. What was probably the same bird relocated to the west end of the north bank of Colebrook North where it was seen regularly into early March. Mute Swan count of 33 on 11th and 2 Bewick's Swans flew through, heading west, on the 16th - the 4th site record of this species. An estimated 150 Canada Geese on the 7th. and the 16 local Barnacle Geese on 25th. The resident Cormorants peaked at 35 on the 22nd. Last month's female Pintail was still present and seen intermittently throughout February. Peak duck numbers recorded were: 250 Wigeon on 4th, 6 Gadwall on 7th, 180 Tufted Ducks on the 4th, 19 Teal on the 3rd, 64 Shoveler on the 3rd, 7 Pochard on 3rd, 1 Shelduck on six dates from 19th.

Sightings of up to 3 Red Kite, 4 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel a Peregrine (5th and 18th) and a regular Sparrowhawk.

Water Rails seen on Grove Lake on the 3rd and 6th. Daily Lapwing Present all month with a max of 180 on 11th. A maxim count of 3 Snipe on the 25th. A Green Sandpiper was not seen during the freeze, but 4 reports from 15th. Two small waders, probably Dunlin, seen on the 7th. A Black-tailed Godwit present on 27th.

Maximum of about 100 Black-headed Gulls, 34 Common Gulls on the 22nd and 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull on 29th.

Barn Owl seen hunting in daylight during the freeze up. One or 2 Little Owls regularly seen on Manor Farm area, often perched in the sunshine.

Male Stonechat on Honey Field regularly with 2 male and a female on the 23rd. A few Skylarks resident. Up to on 6 Meadow Pipits by month end.

Flocks of Linnets and Siskins, a few Lesser Redpolls, Bullfinches, Chaffinches, Greenfinches and Reed Buntings. A Brambling on 16th and a Yellowhammer on the 17th.

March 2012

A Black-necked Grebe in breeding plumage was present for the evening of 23rd, with the resident Great Crested Grebes and Little Grebes. Up to 3 Little Egrets present until 15th. Last month's Bittern was not seen after the 3rd.

Still 14 Barnacle Geese and one Snow Goose in the area, along with a few Greylags, Egyptian and Canada Geese. Cormorant numbers have reduced recently, probably because they don't breed in the immediate area. The last Goosander recorded was on 26th as they head north to breed.

Duck numbers reduced significantly during the month with Pochard, Wigeon and the wintering female Pintail gone completely by the end of the month, and just a few pairs of Teal, Gadwall, remain along with the resident Tufted Ducks and Mallards. 36 Shoveler on the 8th, reduced to 3 pairs at the end of the month. A pair of Red-crested Pochard were present on the 6th and a male Garganey was present on the 24th. Mandarin Ducks have become more common as they start breeding on the Reserve. Up to 5 Shelducks have been present all month, and are showing signs of breeding (which would be a first for the site).

Up to 4 Buzzard, 5 Red Kite and 2 Sparrowhawks during the month. Little Owls active all month, along with Barn Owls and a visit from a Short-eared Owl on 2nd. A pair of Red-legged Partridges on the 9th.

Water Rails seen on 2nd and 12th. Lapwing numbers have dropped to a few breeding pairs. A maxim count of 5 Snipe, 3 Green Sandpipers and 6 Redshank from the 13th. A Dunlin present on the 14th. Both Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers arrived on the 16th, but the later did not stay past 24th.

Gull numbers have dropped from the wintering numbers, with Maximum of about 30 Black-headed Gulls, 25 Common Gulls on the 20th, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and one Herring Gull on four dates. 25 Fieldfare on the 16th.

Sand Martins passed through on the 17th. One or 2 Stonechat on Honey Field throughout the month. About 4 resident Skylarks. An early Wheatear on the 16/17th. One or 2 Kingfishers seen mainly on the river. Increasing numbers of Pied Wagtails and a resident pair of Grey Wagtails. Warblers arriving were Chiffchaff on 15th and Blackcap on 28th.

Finch flocks have been dispersing with reports of just 2 Linnets, 8 Redpoll, no Siskins, a few Bullfinches, Chaffinches, Greenfinches and, as usual this time of the year, a few sightings of Bramblings.

Bruce Archer

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