AUGUST 2011 BIRD NOTES
August Highlights: 4 Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, 20 Species of Wader, Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Wood Warbler and Marsh Tit.
What a difference a year makes: Aug 2010 Highlights ‘A dull month with no highlights’ and only 94 species compared with 119 species this Aug, which is just 3 species below the best ever month at Carsington. Waterbird maximums included 19 Little Grebe on 15th, 51 Great Crested Grebe on 5th, 34 Cormorants on 31st, a site record number 4 Little Egret on 14th, 12 Heron on 15th, 23 adult Mute Swan plus 6 cygnets on 10th, a Pink-footed Goose on 2nd and 14th (escapee?), 8 Greylag on 22nd, a year maximum 403 Canada Geese on 20th, 5 Shelduck on 17th, 11 Wigeon on 31st, 38 Gadwall on 21st, 114 Teal on 29th, 319 Mallard on 15th, 5 Shoveler on 18th and 26th, 1 Red-crested Pochard 12th-31st, 4 Pochard on 2nd and 277 Tufted Duck plus 664 Coot during the WeBS count on 16th.
A site rare female or immature Marsh Harrier flew over Stones Island heading northeast at 1745hrs on 31st. Sparrowhawk were noted carrying prey on 1st and 2nd and 6 Common Buzzard were in the air on 30th. An Osprey was around 0950-1030hrs on 19th, attracting mobbing from 2 Buzzard and an immature Peregrine and later from 3 Herons, all with necks fully outstretched. Another Osprey cruised straight through heading south at 1215hrs on 30th. A Hobby was seen carrying prey on 12th and there were many records of Peregrine, with 3 together on 4th and 8th.
Wader passage has been superb, low water levels have helped and, apart from StonesIslandand Sheepwash being the favourite locations, BrownAleBayand Millfields have held waders on the muddy shore. Maximum counts included: 15 Oystercatcher on 28th, 10 Little-ringed Plover on 12th, 16 Ringed Plover on 13th, 1 Golden Plover flying over on 8th and 24th, 20 Lapwing on 1st, 17 Knot in flight on 26th including 1 bird retaining some red summer plumage, 2 Sanderling on 9th, a Little Stint on 12th-13th and 20th, 4 Dunlin on 12th-17th, 3 Ruff briefly on 23rd, 3 Snipe on 15th, a Black-tailed Godwit on 1st and 8th, 3 Whimbrel flew over on 15th, 2 Curlew flew over on 14th, a Spotted Redshank on 18th, 3 Redshank on 9th and 31st, 3 Greenshank on 26-31st, a Green Sandpiper 14th-31st, 11 Common Sandpiper on 8th and 5 Turnstone on 24th.
Last month’s juvenile Mediterranean Gull was again on site this month on 15th and 16th and 2 Common Gull were noted on 14th. The gull roost started with 4600 Lesser Black-backed Gulls being counted flying in on 26th, most during the last minutes of any daylight. The winter resident Yellow-legged Gull was present all month and was seen eating fish on 14th, 3 birds were noted on 31st. Two Sandwich Terns were a welcome sight on 13th, with 3 Common Tern on 1st and 3rd and an Arctic Tern on 27th.
There were 2 Stock Doves on 12th, 7 Collared Dove on 8th, a Little Owl near a nest box on 16th, 2 Swift on 13th, a Kingfisher on 3rd, a Green Woodpecker and a Skylark on 15th and 3 Meadow Pipit on 31st. Yellow Wagtail were moving through from 12th, and 19 on 22nd is certainly an autumn passage site record. The maximum Pied Wagtail count was 91, 5 Redstart on 8th, 2 Wheatear on 8th, a Wood Warbler and 2 Spotted Flycatcher in Fishtail Creek on 28th, a Marsh Tit calling behind Sheepwash Hide on 1st, 150 Goldfinch on Stones Island on 27th and 3 Crossbills flew over Hopton Arm on 13th.
119 Species were recorded this August compared with 94 in 2010, 102 in 2009, 99 in 2008, 109 in 2007, 97 in 2006, 105 in 2005, 113 in 2004 and 110 in 2003.