Monthly Notes from the Carsington Bird Club Recorders
|Current Bird Notes for 2017|
MAY 2017 BIRD NOTES
Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Grey Plover, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Turnstone, Little Gull, Sandwich Tern, Black Tern, Cuckoo and Wood Warbler.
The summer plumage Great Northern Diver, which had drawn many admirers, was last seen on 2nd. Notable water bird records included: 2 Little Grebe on several dates, several pairs of Great Crested Grebe nest building, 11 Cormorant on 29th, a Little Egret on several dates, 3 Grey Heron on 10th, 13 Mute Swan on 27th (but all 3 breeding pairs had failed by midmonth), 27 adult Greylag Geese (at least 4 broods), 70 Canada Geese on 26th (numerous broods), 8 Barnacle Geese on 16th (at least 1 brood), 3 Shelduck on 9th, a pair of Mandarin all month, 7 Gadwall on 31st, a Teal on 15th, up to 13 broods of Mallard, a pair of Shoveler on 27th, a pair of Red-crested Pochard all month, 7 Common Scoter on 25th, 4 Goosander on 20th and several Coot nests around site.
Raptor highlights this month were: Red Kite on 20th and 28th, a cream crown Marsh Harrier on 9th, 2 Sparrowhawk on several dates, 12 Buzzard on 19th, Osprey on 4th and 8th, 2 Kestrel on numerous dates and a single record of Hobby on 6th.
A good selection of waders were drawn to the wide shoreline and included: 10 Oystercatcher on 9th, 11 Little Ringed Plover on 22nd, 12 Ringed Plover on 6th, 2 Grey Plover from 6th to 9th, Lapwing with at least 3 broods, a Knot on 20th, 7 Sanderling on 23rd including a colour ringed bird traced to Mauritania 2012, 8 Dunlin on 8th, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit on 6th, 6 Whimbrel on 14th, 4 Curlew on 9th, 6 Redshank on 24th, a Greenshank on 6th, c5 Common Sandpiper on 10th and 16 Turnstone on 14th.
Gulls were well represented and included 2 Mediterranean Gull on 2nd, 2 Little Gull on 7th, a huge count of 240 Black-headed Gull nests on Millfields Island on 4th, occasional Common Gull, 65 Lesser Black-backed Gull on 19th, 3 Herring Gull on 4th, a Yellow legged Gull and 3 Great Black-backed Gull both on several occasions. Records of Terns were made up of 2 Sandwich Tern on 19th and on 1st a good passage event included 4 Common Tern, c30 Arctic Tern and 4 Black Tern.
A Cuckoo flew over the dam wall on 1st, Swifts were moving through north on 6th with a count of 387 made and the only record of Kingfisher came on 28th. Sand Martin were at last showing interest in the purpose built nest bank at the Wildlife Centre and House Martin too were collecting mud from the shoreline and going to the Visitor Centre eaves. Wagtails included 2 Yellow on 10th, 6 Grey on 29th and a single White on 1st. The whole site was covered on 22nd and it produced some impressive counts as follows: 125 Wren, 20 Dunnock, 91 Robin, 3 Redstart, 91 Blackbird, 22 Song Thrush, 8 Whitethroat, 14 Garden Warbler, 55 Blackcap, 65 Chiffchaff, 32 Willow Warbler and 12 Goldcrest. Other notable Warblers this month included 2 Sedge Warbler, up to 5 Reed Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a site scarce Wood Warbler which sang briefly in Hall Wood on 6th. A pair of Spotted Flycatcher arrived on 12th with 3 noted on 26th. Tree Sparrow surveys continued with a maximum of 19 counted on 26th with hopefully many more out of sight on breeding duties. A few finch records included 17 Chaffinch on 22nd, a single Siskin over the Hopton end on 18th and 13 Bullfinch on 22nd. A count of 7 singing male Reed Bunting was made on 10th.
114 Species this month compared with 112 in 2016, 107 in 2015, 105 in 2014 and 106 in 2013.
APRIL 2017 BIRD NOTES
Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Common Scoter, Red Kite, Osprey, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Ruff, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Mediterranean Gull, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, Cuckoo and Grasshopper Warbler.
Another good month and another record, 124 species eclipsing the 120 in April 2003. So unsurprisingly there was some good bird on show. The long staying Great Northern Diver attained its summer plumage late in the month and was seen flying around on several occasions in readiness for its migration north. Other notable water bird maximums were: 6 Little Grebes on 8th, 37 Great Crested Grebe on 8th, 12 Cormorants on 8th, Little Egret on 4th, 2 Grey Heron on 9th, 5 Mute Swan on 8th, a Whooper Swan on 1st, a Pink-footed Goose from 15th-17th, 9 Greylag Geese on 8th, 128 Canada Geese on 8th, 25 Barnacle Geese on 6th, 2 Shelduck on 5th & 16th, 3 Mandarin on 25th, the last record of Wigeon was 3 on 28th, 7 Gadwall on 26th, 11 Teal on 8th, 41 Mallard on 8th (plus up to 5 broods), 2 Shoveler on several dates, a pair of Red-crested Pochard from 19th, 58 Tufted Duck on 8th, 11 Common Scoter on the morning of the 30th had risen to 18 by the evening, 4 Goldeneye on 8th, a Goosander on 4th, 8 Moorhen on 8th and 72 Coot on 8th.
Two Red Kites were seen flying west together on 17th, and a single on 23rd, 4 Sparrowhawks seen together on 2nd, 11 Buzzard on 22nd, an Osprey on 7th was followed by records on 14th, 16th & 18th, and 2 Kestrel on 15th/16th.
Wader highlights include: 12 Oystercatcher on 8th, 6 Little Ringed Plover on 18th/19th, 7 Ringed Plover on 15th/16th, 3 Golden Plover flew through on 7th, a Grey Plover on 30th, 10 Sanderling on 30th is a site record, c20 Dunlin on 30th, a Ruff on 30th, 5 Snipe on 8th, 2 Black-tailed Godwits on 20th & 25th, a Bar-tailed Godwit on 18th & 30th, 11 Whimbrel on 30th, 4 Curlew on 30th, 5 Redshank on 16th, a Greenshank on 22nd & 30th, 5 Common Sandpiper on 25th and a Turnstone on several dates.
A 1st summer Mediterranean Gull from 15th then a different 1st summer bird on 27th, 4 1st summer Common Gulls on 28th, 90+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls on 28th, 3 Herring Gulls on 16th, single Yellow-legged Gull on several dates, 5 Common Tern on 30th, 3 Arctic Tern on 29th, 4 Little Tern on 30th and 10 Black Tern also on 30th.
A Cuckoo was heard from the Wildlife Centre on 23rd. The first Swift on 21st, and a Green Woodpecker in Tail Bay on 7th. Sand Martin peaked at 150 on 7th, and numerous Swallows mixed in with Sand Martins on 17th and just 10 House Martin on 26th. The first Yellow Wagtail on 9th but no big numbers throughout the month, White Wagtail arrived on 1st with 7 on 18th. As with last month some huge counts were undertaken on 26th when the whole site was covered. These include: 96 Wren, 20 Dunnock, 77 Robin, 80 Blackbird, 21 Song Thrush, 4 Sedge Warbler, 3 Garden Warbler, 52 Blackcap, 86 Chiffchaff and 46 Willow Warbler.
Other notable sightings include a Grasshopper Warbler heard reeling on 29th near Middle Wood which is the first record since 2011. The first Redstart on 8th, Reed Warbler arrived on 23rd with 2 on 29th. Other arrivals were Lesser Whitethroat on 23rd with 2 on 26th and Whitethroat on 26th with 5 on 30th. c15 Linnet on 8th and 8 Bullfinch on 4th finish off a quality month.
124 species were recorded compared with 119 in 2016, 117 in 2015, 119 in 2014, 114 in 2013 and 115 in 2012.
Recorders: Dave Newcombe: email@example.com Clive Ashton: firstname.lastname@example.org
MARCH 2017 BIRD NOTES
Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Black-necked Grebe, Whooper Swan, Common Scoter, Water Rail, Red Kite, Osprey, Avocet, Grey Plover, Jack Snipe, Kittiwake, Green Woodpecker, Stonechat and Crossbill.
A total of 110 species is a record March total and a glance at the highlights shows we had some really good birds to admire. The Great Northern Diver was present all month as expected and other water bird maximum counts were: 13 Little Grebe on 8th, 56 Great Crested Grebe on 11th, a Black-necked Grebe on the evening of 24th, 25 Cormorant on 11th, 3 Grey Heron on 15th, 8 Mute Swan on 11th, a Whooper Swan on 25th, a single Pink-footed Goose on 3 dates, 12 Greylag Geese on 26th, 189 Canada Geese on 21st, 25 Barnacle Geese on several dates, 2 Shelduck on 9th and 12th, 4 Mandarin on 21st, 30 Wigeon on 19th, a pair of Gadwall regularly, 50 Teal on 11th, 71 Mallard on 11th, 6 Pintail on 13th, 4 Shoveler on 23rd, 3 Pochard on 12th, 80 Tufted Duck on 21st, 2 Common Scoter on 13th and 29th, 17 Goldeneye on 21st, 5 Goosander on 5th, a Water Rail to 9th at least, 7 Moorhen on 11th and 242 Coot on 11th.
Some impressive raptor records were made on 25th when a Red Kite, 4 Sparrowhawk and a massive 23 Common Buzzard were all noted. Our earliest ever record of Osprey came on 20th when one flew west over Stones Island. Kestrel activity mainly concerned last year’s breeding pair protecting their nest site from Jackdaws with regular skirmishes noted and Peregrine were seen on several occasions.
Wader highlights were: 19 Oystercatcher on 11th, a group of 7 Avocet on 10th, the first returning Little Ringed Plover on 23rd with 3 on 25th, a single Ringed Plover on 4 dates, a Grey Plover on 27th, 10 Lapwing on 4th, 3 Dunlin on 2nd and 22nd, the long staying Ruff last seen on 16th, 3 Jack Snipe in the Hopton reed bed on 15th, 78 Snipe on 10th, 2 Woodcock on 15th, 51 Curlew on 2nd, 9 Redshank on 21st and a Common Sandpiper on 30th.
Black-headed Gull were preparing nest sites around Millfields Island all month, 600 Common Gull and 150 Lesser Black-backed Gull roosted on 27th as did 7 Herring Gull on 21st. Other Gull records included 2 Yellow-legged Gull on 24th, 8 Great Black-backed Gull on 26th and a single Kittiwake on 1st.
A Green Woodpecker was calling in Tail Bay on 15th and an excellent count of 11 Great Spotted Woodpecker was made on 27th. The first Sand Martin flew through on 11th, which equals the earliest site record and 25 were counted on 30th. A single Swallow was around Stones Island on 31st. The dam wall held 21 Meadow Pipit on 28th, 11 Grey Wagtail left the Hopton reed bed at dawn on 4th and 80 Pied Wagtail were counted on 24th. Two of the regular observers covered the whole site on 27th and counts of singing birds were: 104 Wren, 31 Dunnock, 104 Robin, 14 Blackbird and 20 Song Thrush. A Stonechat was at Paul Stanley hide on 6th and the first Wheatear was on the dam wall on 16th. The Cetti’s Warbler was last reported on 15th, a singing Blackcap was discovered on 28th and 2 Chiffchaff on 10th were the first but a huge 93 were counted on 27th. The only other warbler to arrive was Willow Warbler with 2 on 30th. A decline in Tree Sparrow numbers is being investigated and the highest count this month was 27 on 14th. Finch records included 50 Siskin on 11th, 24 Lesser Redpoll on 26th, at least 1 Crossbill over Millfields on 25th and 31 Bullfinch on 27th.
110 species this March compared with 108 in 2016, 103 in 2015, 95 in 2014, 96 in 2013 and 97 in 2012.
FEBRUARY 2017 BIRD NOTES
February Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Water Rail, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Kittiwake and Cetti’s Warbler.
Water levels remained low all month and as normal Wildfowl numbers began to fall as we move towards spring. The Great Northern Diver continued its stay to the month end and other water bird maximums were: 19 Little Grebe on 9th, 45 Great Crested Grebe on 9th, 27 Cormorant on 25th, Grey Heron on a few dates, 8 Mute Swan on 9th and 12th, a Pink-footed Goose among the Canada Geese on several occasions, 2 Greylag Geese on 20th and 25th, 156 Canada Geese on 9th, 26 Barnacle Geese on 20th, 2 Shelduck on 23rd, 18 Wigeon on 16th, 12 Gadwall on 9th, 159 Teal on 9th, 97 Mallard on 12th, a Pintail on 1st and 17th, a pair of Shoveler on 3rd, 17 Pochard on 9th, 84 Tufted Duck on 12th, 18 Goldeneye on 9th, 11 Goosander on 9th, a Water Rail at the Hopton reed bed on 14th and 16th, 8 Moorhen on 9th and 564 Coot during the WeBS count on 12th.
Notable raptor records included 2 Sparrowhawk on 16th, 8 Buzzard soaring on 28th, 2 Kestrel on 25th and several sightings of Peregrine.
Oystercatchers were back in good numbers with 9 on 7th and 20th including the ringed male returning for his 12th breeding season. Other waders were Ringed Plover on 3 dates, 2 Golden Plover also on 3 dates, 980 Lapwing on 14th, 6 Dunlin on 1st, the wintering Ruff all month, 3 Jack Snipe on 25th, some healthy counts of Common Snipe peaked at 79 on 19th, 4 Woodcock on 25th, 38 Curlew on 28th and 3 Redshank on several dates.
Roosting Gulls on 8th included 3000 Black-headed Gull, 700 Common Gull and 110 Lesser Black-backed Gull. The roost on 20th held at least 10 Herring Gull and 3 Yellow-legged Gull. Seven Great Black-backed Gull early on 20th had obviously roosted the previous evening and a Kittiwake was present on 22nd.
A count of 10 Stock Dove came on 16th, Kingfisher reports were made regularly, 6 Skylark moved through on 16th, 12 Meadow Pipit were on the dam on 17th and 13 Grey Wagtail left their roost at the Hopton end on 16th. A walk from the Hopton arm to Stones Island on 21st produced 35 Wren, 27 Dunnock, 88 Robin and 28 Blackbird. Thrushes were represented by 20 singing Song Thrush on 20th, 90 Redwing on 26th and 3 Mistle Thrush on 14th. The Cetti’s Warbler remained on Stones Island all month and could often be heard singing. Other counts of common birds come from the walk on 21st unless stated: 7 Goldcrest, 13 Long-tailed Tit, 9 Willow Tit on 26th, 10 Coal Tit, 51 Blue Tit, 19 Great Tit, 6 Nuthatch and 4 Treecreeper. Jackdaw leaving a roost in Tail Bay numbered 200 on 9th, 7 Raven were aloft on 20th and 200 Starling moved north the same morning. The highest Tree Sparrow count was 28 on 10th. There were 30 Siskin on 3rd, 2 Lesser Redpoll on 24th and a healthy 18 Bullfinch on 21st.
90 species this month compared with 87 in 2016, 86 in 2015, 81 in 2014, 90 in 2013, 91 in 2012 and 90 in 2011.
JANUARY 2017 BIRD NOTES
January Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Whooper Swan, Knot, Ruff, Jack Snipe and Cetti’s Warbler.
A month in which visibility was hampered by fog on many days, produced a very respectable 91 species. The adult Great Northern Diver continued its stay throughout the month as was expected. Waterbird maximums come from the WeBS count on 14th unless stated: 12 Little Grebe, 33 Great Crested Grebe, 24 Cormorant on 22nd, Grey Heron on several dates, 22 Mute Swan, 38 Whooper Swan on 20th, 2 Pink-footed Geese on 4th, 10 Greylag Geese on 7th, 333 Canada Geese on 15th, 29 Barnacle Geese on several dates, 3 Brent Geese flew north on 1st, a Shelduck on 29th, 35 Wigeon, 33 Gadwall, 163 Teal, 143 Mallard, 5 Pintail, 12 Shoveler on 6th, 55 Pochard, 187 Tufted Duck, 17 Goldeneye, 24 Goosander on 8th, 9 Moorhen and 950 Coot.
Very few raptor reports this month but Sparrowhawk and Buzzard were present, there were 3 Kestrel on 4th and 2 male Peregrine on 14th.
An Oystercatcher returned on 20th and other waders included 8 Golden Plover on 1st, 1000 Lapwing on 10th, a Knot on 22nd, 9 Dunlin on 12th, the wintering Ruff all month, 4 Jack Snipe on 10th, 95 Snipe on 8th, 4 Woodcock on 6th and 10th, single Curlew on 6th and 3 other dates and up to 3 Redshank.
The only notable Gull records were a large count of 1400 Common Gull roosting on 11th, 500 Lesser Black-backed Gull on 70th, 12 Herring Gull on 15th, Yellow-legged Gull on 2 dates and 5 Great Black-backed Gull on 7th.
Three Tawny Owl were calling at dawn on 2 dates and Kingfisher were reported regularly with 2 on 12th. A Skylark flew over on 20th and 2 Meadow Pipit were seen on 15th. Grey Wagtail were roosting in the Hopton reed bed all month and 9 were counted at dawn on 5th and 10th. One observer walked from the Hopton end to Stones Island on 6th and recorded some good counts of common birds including: 27 Wren, 21 Dunnock, 47 Robin, 65 Blackbird, 19 Song Thrush and 82 Redwing. Two Mistle Thrush were singing on 10th and the Cetti’s Warbler continued its stay on Stones Island to 20th at least and is probably still present. Other counts from the 6th included 3 Willow Tit, 10 Coal Tit, 52 Blue Tit, 30 Great Tit, 5 Nuthatch and 4 Treecreeper. Five Jay were noted around the Hopton arm on 23rd and there were 2 Raven on 8th. Finch counts were 28 Chaffinch on 6th, a single Brambling on 26th, 35 Siskin on 12th, a Linnet on 8th, 8 Lesser Redpoll on 19th and 15 Bullfinch on 12th.
91 species this month compared with 91 in 2016, 81 in 2015, 82 in 2014, 89 in 2013 and 92 in 2012.