AUGUST 2010 BIRD NOTES
August Highlights: A dull month with no highlights.
Bird watching at Carsington in August is usually quiet but it is also unpredictable. In 2001 just 86 species were noted. In 2002 a massive 122 species were recorded, the biggest ever month at Carsington. Weather wise, 2001 was an average summer. 2002 saw a lot of hot sun, some stormy rain, a lot of muddy shoreline, and, local birds all showed well, passing migrants called in and passage waders stayed several days. This year, with generally cool wet weather, the local scrub and woodland birds were tucked away in their chosen habitation, most moulting and many fattening in preparation for their flight southwards. There were no extremes of weather to bring in unusual seabirds and no fast moving fronts or sudden storms to bring down passing waders or terns so there was very little for birders to find. However, it is more important that the good breeding season has, hopefully, been followed by healthy maturing birds.
Fresh broods noted this month included the ninth brood of Great-crested Grebe on 3rd, 3 broods of Tufted Duck taking the total to a site record 29, Moorhen up to 10 broods and Coot up to 13 broods. Wildfowl numbers included 25 adult Mute Swan plus 12 cygnets, 6 Shelduck on 24th until flushed by a fox, 8 Wigeon on 29th, 12 Gadwall on 16th, 26 Teal on 29th, 173 Mallard on 16th, 2 Shoveler on 10th, 1 Red-crested Pochard 13-20th, 5 Pochard on 19th, 446 Tufted Duck during WeBS count on 16th and 649 Coot on 16th.
A juvenile Sparrow Hawk flew into the Wildlife Centre window during the RSPB day on 10th. A single Hobby was noted on 2nd, 16th and 20th and there were 2 Peregrines on 1st and 13th, with singles seen on many other dates.
Wader passage has again been poor this year. Records include an Oystercatcher on 1st and 17th, 2 juvenile Little-ringed Plover 22-23rd, 3 Ringed Plover on Stones Island at dusk on 24th, 62 Lapwing on 26th, 4 Dunlin on 6th and 23rd, 4 juvenile Ruff briefly at the Wildlife Centre on 17th, a Curlew on several dates, 4 Redshank on 19th, a Greenshank on 13th and 4 Common Sandpiper on 1st and 13th.
The gull roost started this month with 1500 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a juvenile Herring Gull on 20th. Two other adult Yellow-legged Gulls have been resident all month but they did not join the roost before dark on 20th. One of these adults attacked an adult Moorhen near the Wildlife Centre raft; the moorhen eventually got behind the wire netting on the raft but then died. The only Terns this month were Commons with 3 on 1st, 1 on 17th and 2 adults plus 2 juveniles on 26th.
Two Stock Doves flew over the Wildlife Centre Creek on 4th. A single Kingfisher put on a show at Paul Stanley Hide most days, the record so far is 8 fish caught and consumed in 35 minutes, and 2 Kingfishers were present on 30th and 31st. Two Green Woodpeckers were in Millfields Car Park on 16th, a Yellow wagtail was noted on 17th and 24th, 2 Redstart were in Wildlife Centre Creek from 16th for a few days and the Goldfinch flock on Stones Island was estimated at 80 on 12th.
94 Species were recorded this August compared with 102 in 2009, 99 in 2008, 109 in 2007, 97 in 2006, 105 in 2005, 113 in 2004 and 110 in 2003.