JANUARY 2011 BIRD NOTES
January Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Little Egret, Smew, Kittiwake and Mealy Redpoll.
A reasonable January for species numbers when there is no migration movement either locally or nationally. Bird numbers are noticeably low away from the water, which is mainly due to the snow and freezing conditions of Nov/Dec, having forced many southwards. Bird numbers on the water are slightly down on previous winters and a reported Ruddy Duck cull on 25th will certainly have contributed to the decrease.
The 2 juvenile Great Northern Divers stayed on from the Christmas period and were joined by another juvenile from 29th, taking our site total to 3 birds. A Little Egret was on Sheepwash Spit briefly on 13th, then went into Hopton Arm Reedbed. Pink-footed Geese were around with Canadas, with a maximum of 4 on 29th, and skeins over were; 43 west at 0955hrs plus 170 west at 1100hrs, both on 24th, 150 west at 1425hrs on 26th and 80 west at 0930hrs plus 50 west at 1020hrs, both on 29th. Another Little Grebe was killed and eaten by the Yellow-legged Gull on 13th and these grebes are currently rarely seen on site. Site counts this month were from the WeBS count on 16th, unless dated otherwise, and included 1 Little Grebe, 56 Great Crested Grebe on 2nd, 28 Cormorant on 18th, 3 Heron on 13th, 10 Mute Swans, 33 feral Barnacle Geese, 2 Shelduck on 17th, 231 Wigeon, 7 Gadwall on 2nd, 110 Teal, 210 Mallard, 3 Pintail on 19th, 2 Shoveler on 6th, 45 Pochard on 2nd, 553 Tufted Duck, 41 Goldeneye on 10th, a female Smew all month, 4 Goosander on 19th, 4 Moorhen and 1340 Coot.
Raptor records were few, with 2 Sparrow Hawk on 8th, 5 Common Buzzards in the air on 19th, 2 Kestrel on 18th and a Peregrine seen on 9th, 13th and 17th.
Waders included an Oystercatcher at Millfields on 20th, 315 Lapwing on 24th, a Dunlin 17-18th, a Snipe on 17th, a Curlew over on 15th, 17th and 18th and Redshank around all month, with a maximum 4 on 24th.
The gull roost has been poor and little watched. It contained an adult Mediterranean Gull on 24th and an adult Kittiwake briefly on 22nd before flying off north. Counts included 2500 Black-headed Gulls on 6th, 350 Common Gulls on 24th, 200 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on 6th, 150 Herring Gulls on 6th, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls on 12th and 24th and 30 Great Black-backed Gulls early morning on 3rd.
Two Stock Dove were in Tail Bay on 29th, a Kingfisher noted on 2nd and 17th, 3 Skylark over on 6th, 1 Meadow Pipit on 9th, 17th and 19th, a Grey Wagtail at Hopton End on 13th, 6 Fieldfare 9-10th, 12 Redwing on 24th, 2 Goldcrest in Hall Wood on 6th, 8 Long-tailed tit on Paul Stanley feeder on 16th, 3 Willow Tit on Wildlife Centre feeder on 6th, 3 Nuthatch and 2 Treecreeper in Hall Wood on 6th, 12 Rook on dam wall fields on 28th, 2 Raven from Sheepwash on 18th and other dates, 40 Chaffinch at Wildlife Centre on 24th, 40 Siskin on 10th and at least 2 Common (Mealy) Redpoll reported near Lane End Hide on pagers on 30th. This is only the second record of Mealy at Carsington and, until recently this species required a DOS rarity form submission.
89 Species this month comparing well with 86 in January 2010, 86 in 2009, 85 in 2008, 89 in 2007, 89 in 2006, 95 in 2005, 91 in 2004, 87 in 2003 and 75 in 2002.