Monthly Notes from the Carsington Bird Club Recorders
|Current Bird Notes for 2018|
APRIL 2018 BIRD NOTES
Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Black-necked Grebe, Common Scoter, Red Kite, Osprey, Avocet, Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Mediterranean Gull, Little Gull, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Tern, Barn Owl and Pied Flycatcher.
A mainly cold month, with just one really warm spell, meant that most spring migrants were late to arrive but they trickled in eventually. The Great Northern Diver was near to full summer plumage at the month end and it was seen flying occasionally in preparation for its journey north to breeding grounds. Water bird maximums and highlights this month were: 8 Little Grebe on 15th, 32 Great Crested Grebe on 15th, a summer plumage Black-necked Grebe on 5th, 17 Cormorant on 12th, 3 Grey Heron on 7th, 12 Mute Swan on 15th, 18 Greylag Geese on 12th and 23rd, 110 Canada Geese on 15th, 26 Barnacle Geese on 24th, 2 Shelduck on 9th and 20th, 5 Mandarin on 11th, 6 Wigeon on 14th, 11 Gadwall on 16th, 12 Teal on 16th, 59 Mallard on 15th, 2 Shoveler on 3 dates, 5 Pochard on 5th, 96 Tufted Duck on 15th, a drake Scaup from 1st to 13th, 13 Common Scoter on 14th, 8 Goldeneye on 9th and 14th, 5 Goosander on 3rd, 2 Moorhen and 53 Coot both on 15th.
Raptor records included Red Kite on 14th, 18th and 22nd, 3 Sparrowhawk on 19th, 10 Buzzard on 23rd, Osprey on 3rd, 4th and 8th, a pair of Kestrel all month and 2 Peregrine on 3 occasions.
Wader maximums were 11 Oystercatcher on 15th, a single Avocet on 7th, 5 Little Ringed Plover on 19th and 30th, 4 Ringed Plover on 20th, 6 Lapwing on 19th, 10 Dunlin on 25th, 7 Ruff on 1st, 11 Snipe on 11th, a single Bar-tailed Godwit from 16th to 19th, 2 Whimbrel on 17th and 20th, 18 Curlew at dawn on 7th, 9 Redshank on 15th and 3 Common Sandpiper on 20th, 24th and 30th.
A sub adult Mediterranean Gull was at Millfields on 12th and 7 Little Gull flew through on 15th. The Black-headed Gull colony on Millfields Island numbered 400 on 16th but all had abandoned by 24th and Rangers are investigating, with the probable cause being mammalian presence on the Island (many of these breeding birds relocated to Sailing club and Horseshoe Islands). Other Gull counts were: 66 Common on 1st, 20 Herring on 3rd, 2 Yellow-legged on 12th, 39 Great Black-backed on 5th and 4 Kittiwake on 8th. At least 2 Sandwich Tern flew through on 19th followed by another 3 the following morning, 2 Common Tern were present on 25th and a probable total of 30 Arctic Tern passed through on 28th.
Following last month’s Barn Owl records sadly one was found dead near the Wildlife Centre on 5th, but others were seen on 7th and 11th. Two Swift arrived on 21st, there were 100 Sand Martin by 25th, and the first Swallow and House Martin both arrived on 3rd. Other migrant records were 4 Yellow Wagtail on 29th, 6 White Wagtail on 14th, 5 Redstart on 24th and just 5 Wheatear all month follows the national pattern of late arrival for this species. The last records of winter Thrushes were 8 Fieldfare on 17th and 2 Redwing on 15th. Sedge Warbler arrived on 21st, Reed Warbler on 24th, Lesser Whitethroat on 19th, Whitethroat on 21st, Garden Warbler on 22nd and Blackcap on 6th. A site count on 24th produced 70 Blackcap, 52 Chiffchaff and 32 Willow Warbler. A male Pied Flycatcher was a good find on 16th and is the earliest ever record for Carsington. Other notable counts were 8 Willow Tit on 24th, 7 singing Treecreeper on 21st, 23 Tree Sparrow on 9th and 23rd and 16 Linnet on 7th.
117 species were recorded compared with 124 in 2017, 119 in 2016, 117 in 2015, 119 in 2014 and 114 in 2013.
Recorders: Dave Newcombe: email@example.com Clive Ashton: firstname.lastname@example.org
MARCH 2018 BIRD NOTES
Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Whooper Swan, Scaup, Merlin, Avocet, Jack Snipe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Gull, Kittiwake, Barn Owl, Rock Pipit, and Stonechat.
A cold month with snow and ice a regular feature, so not surprisingly spring migrants were slow to arrive. The Great Northern Diver continued to attract admirers all month and other water bird maximums are from the WeBS survey on 25th unless stated: 13 Little Grebe, 34 Great Crested Grebe, 25 Cormorant on 11th, 5 Grey Heron on 28th, 6 Mute Swan on 21st and 30th, a herd of 59 Whooper Swan from 3rd to 5th, 21 Greylag Geese on 25th, 88 Canada Geese, 28 Barnacle Geese on 9th and 16th, a single Shelduck on 5 dates, 5 Mandarin on 29th, 23 Wigeon, 24 Gadwall on 6th, 32 Teal, 44 Mallard, 4 Pintail on 3rd to 5th, 2 Shoveler on 3 dates, 4 Pochard, 70 Tufted Duck, a drake Scaup all month from 3rd, 16 Goldeneye on 29th, 3 Goosander on 6th, 4 Moorhen and 108 Coot.
Bird of prey highlights were 2 Sparrowhawk on several dates, 20 Buzzard on 25th, 3 Kestrel on 25th and 29th, 2 Merlin together on 26th and 2 Peregrine on 25th.
A nice range of waders included 16 Oystercatcher on 25th, a lone Avocet on 30th (which is the 4th year in a row for this species), the first Little Ringed Plover of the year on 26th, 8 Golden Plover on 5th, 130 Lapwing on 5th, a single Dunlin on several dates, 7 Ruff on 28th, a Jack Snipe on 9th, 21 Common Snipe on 13th, Woodcock on 6th and 22nd, single Bar-tailed Godwit on 6th, 16th and 19th, 55 roosting Curlew at dusk on 19th and 11 Redshank on 25th.
Gulls were well represented with an adult Little Gull on 5th, 4,500 roosting Black-headed Gull on 6th (and 540 potential breeding birds around Millfields Island on 28th), 1,300 Common Gull on 6th, 160 Lesser Black-backed Gull on 6th, 6 Herring Gull on 26th and 28th, 2 Yellow-legged Gull on 3rd and 15th, 5 Great Black-backed Gull on 28th and an adult Kittiwake also on 28th.
Four Stock Dove were feeding below Sheepwash car park feeders during a period of lying snow on 19th and 2, now site scarce, Collared Dove were noted on 14th and two other dates. A Barn Owl was a good find on 20th and it was seen again on 25th and 28th, 2 Tawny Owl were on the east side on 29th, there were 2 reports of Kingfisher midmonth and a site record 73 Skylark flew north during the morning of 5th. The first Sand Martin arrived on 28th, 56 Meadow Pipit trickled through north on 26th and a single Rock Pipit flew over on 11th. A female Stonechat was in Millfields car park on 6th but could not be re-found subsequently. Two observers covered the whole site on 29th and recorded the following counts: 24 Wren, 21 Dunnock, 52 Robin, 57 Blackbird, 7 Mistle Thrush, 14 Chiffchaff (first arrival 11th), 11 Willow Tit, 10 Nuthatch and 8 Treecreeper. A flock of 400 Jackdaw flew to a roost site at dusk on 6th, 27 Carrion Crow were near the main car park on 11th, 6 Raven were seen on 14th and 400 Starling flew northeast on 14th. Other counts included 24 Tree Sparrow on 26th, 18 Chaffinch on 29th, 3 Siskin on 29th, 4 Linnet on 21st, 7 Lesser Redpoll on 13th and 29th and 18 Bullfinch also on 29th.
102 species this March compared with 110 in 2017, 108 in 2016, 103 in 2015, 95 in 2014 and 96 in 2013.
FEBRUARY 2018 BIRD NOTES
February Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Whooper Swan, Ruff, Jack Snipe and Kittiwake.
The month ended with freezing temperatures and heavy snow which limited observer hours, so 86 species is a little lower than normal. The Great Northern Diver continued its stay to the month end and will not be leaving soon as it was noted to have moulted many of its flight feathers. Other water bird maximum counts come from the WeBS survey on 22nd unless stated: 16 Little Grebe, 38 Great Crested Grebe, 28 Cormorant on 21st, single Grey Heron on several dates, 3 Mute Swan, 7 Whooper Swan, 60+ Pink-footed Geese on 5th, 8 Greylag Geese on 19th, 118 Canada Geese, 28 Barnacle Geese, a Shelduck on 20th, 42 Wigeon on 1st, 10 Gadwall on 21st, 190 Teal, 123 Mallard, 3 Pochard, 74 Tufted Duck, 14 Goldeneye, 3 Goosander, 6 Moorhen and 147 Coot.
Raptor records were few but included 2 Sparrowhawk displaying on 21st, 6 Buzzard on 19th and 21st, 3 Kestrel on 23rd and Peregrine on 1st and 24th.
Oystercatchers were back in good numbers with 10 on 22nd and 27th including the barcode ringed male returning for his 13th breeding season (and interestingly he appears to be paired with another colour ringed bird from Dawlish Warren). Other waders were 2 Ringed Plover on 4th, 600 Lapwing on 19th, a Dunlin on 21st and 22nd, the 5 wintering Ruff to 24th at least, 2 Jack Snipe on 16th, 19 Common Snipe on 21st, 4 Woodcock on 24th, 4 Curlew on 10th and 14th and 7 Redshank on 15th.
Gull highlights were 2 Herring Gull on 19th and 20th, a Yellow-legged Gull on 23rd, 4 Great Black-backed Gull on 20th and an adult Kittiwake on 11th.
A crash in Collared Dove numbers is emerging and there were just 2 records of single birds this month. Three Tawny Owl were calling on 18th and 24th and Kingfisher was reported on 3 dates. Other maximum counts included 3 Skylark on 21st, 25 Meadow Pipit on 6th, 4 Grey Wagtail on 16th, 16 Dunnock on 15th, 15 Redwing on 19th, 7 Mistle Thrush on 23rd, 5 Willow Tit on 19th, 6 Nuthatch on 19th, 2 Jay on 15th, 7 Magpie on 15th, 4 Raven on 21st, 60 Starling on 21st and 25th, 21 Tree Sparrow on 12th, 10 Chaffinch on 6th, 2 Brambling on 19th, 20 Siskin on 22nd and 4 Reed Bunting on 21st.
86 species this month compared with 90 in 2017, 87 in 2016, 86 in 2015, 81 in 2014, 90 in 2013 and 91 in 2012
JANUARY 2018 BIRD NOTES
January Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Whooper Swan, Red-breasted Merganser, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Kittiwake and Hawfinch
Considering fewer observer hours this month 96 species is the best count for some years. The adult Great Northern Diver continued its stay and was often seen either from Stones Island or Millfields. Two unidentified Divers flew south over the visitor centre on 7th and were thought not to be Great Northern. Waterbird maximums come from the WeBS count on 14th unless stated: 30 Little Grebe, 49 Great Crested Grebe, 23 Cormorant on 13th & 14th, a Little Egret on 24th, 2 Grey Heron on 11th & 14th, 7 Mute Swan on 10th, 12 Whooper Swan on 27th, Pink-footed Geese movement includes 3 skeins totalling 360 on 6th, 280 in 2 skeins on 7th and 420 in 2 skeins on 8th, 2 Greylag Geese on 3rd & 11th, 220 Canada Geese on 8th, 30 Barnacle Geese on 30th, 2 Shelduck on 30th, 62 Wigeon, 15 Gadwall, 243 Teal, 173 Mallard, female Pintail on 2nd and a male on 14th, 3 Shoveler on 10th, 13 Pochard, 117 Tufted Duck, 14 Goldeneye, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers on 25th, 10 Goosander on 27th, single Water Rail seen in Hopton reedbed on several dates and in the channel left of Paul Stanley hide on 20th, 8 Moorhen and 624 Coot.
A fairly quiet month raptor wise though 2 Sparrowhawks were seen on 7th & 11th, 8 Buzzard on 8th, 2 Kestrels on several dates, 6 sightings of Peregrine including a female and immature male.
The first returning Oystercatcher was 2 birds on 26th rising to 3 on 30tht, a single Golden Plover flew over on 6th followed by another on 18th, 900 Lapwing on 11th, 3 Dunlin on 30th, up to 5 Ruff all month, 4 Jack Snipe on 4th, 25 Snipe on 12th, 3 Woodcock on 2nd and 14th, a Black-tailed Godwit on 11th and 6 Redshank on 2nd and 25th.
Some impressive counts of Gulls this month. c6000 Black-headed Gulls on 14th, 1700 Common Gulls on 13th, 250 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on 13th, 18 Herring Gull on 13th, numerous Yellow-legged Gull records including 2 on 2nd, 12 adult Great Black-backed Gull on 6th and an adult Kittiwake on 24th.
Several Stock Dove records this month including 8 on 7th. A Barn Owl was seen over the dam wall early morning on 20th and again the following day. Four Tawny Owls were heard calling at Hopton on 13th, single Kingfisher records on 6 dates mostly at Paul Stanley but also Hopton. Great Spotted Woodpecker heard drumming on 19th. Two Skylark over on 25th and 18 Meadow Pipit on 18th. 2 Grey Wagtail on 7th. A Female Stonechat present in front of Paul Stanley hide most of the month. Forty Fieldfare on 19th, 180 Redwing on 2nd and 4 Mistle Thrush on 11th. A huge count of 16 Willow Tits on 11th was encouraging considering their national decline. Another huge count and also on 11th was a site record 17 Raven. Fifteen of these were flying SW together over the dam wall whilst what is thought to be a local pair briefly joined them. 80 Starling flew through on 7th. 18 Tree Sparrows at the Wildlife Centre feeders on 15th. 80 Siskin on 3rd, 4 Linnet on 3rd, 2 Lesser Redpoll on 19th, 15 Bullfinch on 18th, single Hawfinch at Millfields on 11th and 19th and 3 Reed Buntings on 2nd.
96 species this month compared with 91 in 2017, 91 in 2016, 81 in 2015, 82 in 2014, 89 in 2013 and 92 in 2012
DECEMBER 2017 BIRD NOTES
Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Black-necked Grebe, Jack Snipe, Stonechat and Hawfinch.
The adult Great Northern Diver, from November, remained all month as expected and other water bird maximum counts come from the WeBS survey on 16th unless indicated: 20 Little Grebe, 37 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Black-necked Grebe, 21 Cormorant, 1 Little Egret on 2nd, 2 Grey Heron on 1st, 44 Mute Swan on 1st, 80 Pink-footed Geese flew west on 2nd, 21 Greylag Geese on 2nd, 200 Canada Geese on 2nd and 14th, 27 Barnacle Geese on 24th, a Shelduck on 24th, 66 Wigeon, 17 Gadwall, 424 Teal, 198 Mallard, 4 Pintail on 23rd, 9 Shoveler on 2nd, 143 Pochard on 1st, 240 Tufted Duck, 13 Goldeneye, 10 Goosander on 13th, 2 Water Rail on 7th, 6 Moorhen and 948 Coot.
Nothing unusual to report in the raptor category but a healthy 6 Sparrowhawk on 5th, 7 Buzzard on 6th, 3 Kestrel on 6th and 2 Peregrine on 7th.
Waders noted this month were: 35 Golden Plover flying west on 22nd, 650 Lapwing on 12th and 15th, 4 Dunlin on 6th, 5 Ruff on many dates and possibly as many as 7 on 18th, a Jack Snipe at the Hopton end on 24th and another flushed on Stones Island on 30th, 25 Snipe on 3rd, 4 Woodcock on 21st and 8 Redshank on 8th and 9th.
Gull counts were: 6000 Black-headed at dawn on 25th, a massive 2000 Common was unsurprisingly a site record on 7th, 660 Lesser Black-backed on 5th, 24 Herring on 16th, 3 Yellow-legged on 7th and 2 Great Black-backed on several dates.
A count of 6 Stock Dove was made on 11th, 8 Tawny Owl were calling at dawn on 17th, occasional Kingfisher sightings were made, 6 Skylark flew over Millfields on 19th, 35 Meadow Pipit and 6 Grey wagtail were logged on 2nd. A Stonechat was at Paul Stanley hide on 15th and a female noted there on 31st was possibly the same bird. A walk between Millfields and Upperfields Farm produced a count of 40 Blackbird on 3rd, winter Thrushes were in evidence with 15 Fieldfare on 11th and 100 Redwing on 5th. Another walk on 2nd provided identical counts of 10 for both Nuthatch and Treecreeper, 40 Rook were around the dam wall on 7th and 5 Raven flew over on 31st. Continuing Tree Sparrow surveys produced a monthly maximum of 17 on 22nd, single Brambling were noted on 3 occasions, Siskin peaked at 60 on 21st, the Hawfinch phenomenon provided several records mainly of single birds with a maximum of 3 on 18th and 13 Bullfinch were seen on 23rd.
92 species recorded compared with 95 in 2016, 93 in 2015, 91 in 2014, 83 in 2013 and 85 in 2012.