Welcome to the Eden news
As the old year passed away it appeared to do so in a blur of mist, dark cloud and windy dreich. December was a mild and changeable affair. Temperatures were unseasonably high around Christmas and the light on the coast was poor. But 2017 has started brighter, let’s hope it continues. There is plenty to see out on the reserve. Here is December’s highlights:
Pinkfooted numbers picked up a bit early December with 3220 on 1st and around 2000 on 7th. Counts were tricky in the poor weather, there are around 2000 as we start the new year. No Greylag but 44 Light Bellied Brent on 12th.
A good spot of 4 Stonechat and 11 Grey Partridge on 2nd.
WeBS (Estuary Count) 12th:
Good species and numbers this month, it’s definitely busy with birds. 471 Shelduck, 142 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 44 Mallard and 44 Pintail was a reasonable set of counts. 18 Goldeneye and 9 RB Merganser along with a single Slavonian Grebe.
Wader wise, reasonably healthy numbers noted for most species with 2640 Oystercatcher, 2084 Dunlin, 431 Knot, 146 Lapwing and 98 Bar tailed Godwit. Godwit numbers are low with only 59 Black tailed to add to the tally. 1095 Redshank and 2 Greenshank with 71 Grey Plover and 18 Sanderling.
21 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing, a single Woodcock and 4 Grey partridge added greatly to a winter walk on 22nd.
Only recorded 3 days out of 31 with 2 present on 5th. A reasonable start to Janurary 2017 though with 2 on 4th and 1 on 5th.
Little Grebe have bene a feature all month with 5 on 5th and 4 on 18th. 2 Little Egret on 14th and again on 31st. 150 Teal on 15th and 80 Wigeon on 24th. A single Tufted duck on 15th and Goldeneye in small numbers recorded most of the month. 24th a nice day for raptors with 2 Buzzards, interacting with a Peregrine and a Merlin. A nice count of 200 Lapwing on 15th and 1600 Dunlin on 24th. 140 Black Tailed Godwit was our peak on 13th.
Up on the feeders the finches have slowly returned but not in any great number. Coal tits, Long tailed tits, GS Woodpecker and a nice gang of Tree Sparrow up to around 7 so far.
Bird of the Month
An enigmatic wader with a love of dense vegetation and woodlands. Short legs and very long bill with distinct mottled markings and a low short weaving flight when disturbed. A Red list breeder due to reduction in woodland glades and open areas. A resident bird however numbers are augmented in winter by birds from Finland and Russia. Often noted locally when the weather is extreme, so it was a nice spot along the Kincaple path on 22nd December.
• Winter Opening Hours 9am-4pm (Nov-Mar)
• Heaters: Please ensure they are off when leaving.
• Christmas Tree Project: Saturday 7th January. 10am at West Sands. Come along and help place the donated Christmas trees into the sand dunes to assist with crater repair. A nice way to start the year with a very worthwhile activity.
• Bird Records: Please put all the birds you observed in the log book provided. Thank you.
• Volunteer?: Need to lose that Turkey fat or just fancy getting out and making a difference to your local patch? Try volunteering with us .It’s all about fun and you can do as much or as little as you can manage. Call Meg on 01592 656080
Happy New Year!