Welcome to the Eden News for December.
Winter is in full season now and a little snow and ice are adding to the short days. November was pretty mild but did provide some long spells of rain which at least has helped fill up the Coble pools.
Look out along the hedgerows and on your morning commutes watch out for owls and birds of prey as they patrol the open fields.
November was a good month for sightings and here are the highlights;
The numbers of Pinkfooted geese are steady between 1000-2500 roosting. They are a wonderful sight coming in in the evening. Few Greylag but around 15-40 recorded now and then. LB Brent are noted regularly in Balgove Bay with 14 there on 13th. A nice spot of 12 Whitefronted geese on 10th. Also 2 Canada geese on 19th.
: A nice gathering offshore on 25th with 2000+ Common scoter, 7 GC Grebe, 7 Red throated diver, 5 Long tailed duck and single Slavonian grebe. Onshore on the same day were 4 Stonechat, 35 Linnet and 5 Snow bunting.
: Some nice wetland records on 25th, 6 Grey partridge, 2 Snipe and 1 Jack snipe. Mute, teal, Mallard all joining in.
A pair of Woodcock there on 30th and a nice playful Raven.
A nice spot of 11 Fieldfare on the haws on 30th.
WeBS (Estuary Count):
Good numbers of birds noted now across the reserve although not in evidence on this months WeBS with higher tides. Still low numbers of Godwit and Grey plover. 380 Shelduck, 122 Wigeon, 121 Teal, 31 Mallard, 5 RB Merganser and 24 Pintail with only 7 Eider noted. Wader wise, 610 Oystercatcher, 11 Ringed plover, 172 Lapwing, 125 Redshank, quite low, no Bartailed godwit and only 8 Black tailed. No Grey plover either. But they are out there.
: present 12 out of 30 days with 3 on 5th and 22nd and 2 on 3 days.
Eden Centre: As always the Centre provides a great spot to pick up birds. Little grebe present most of the month with peak of 7 on 23rd. 2 GC grebe on 25th. Little egret present from 18th-26th. A nice 12 Whopper swan on 17th. A good 22 Goldeneye on 23rd. 300 Dunlin on 18th, 2 Greenshank on 12th, not too many of these around. Sparrowhawk and Peregrine have been occasional hunters and the Kingfisher was around 11th-20th. A Short eared owl out on Edenside on 18th.
Upon the feeders it’s the usual crowd with Tree sparrow back too. All harassed by Ol’ Sparrowhawk and out munched by the woodpeckers. Will we get Brambling this year? We will wait and see.
Bird of the Month
These petite wee birds have been bobbing around in front of the centre all month. Also known as Dabchick and a wonderful bird to watch, bobbing, diving and when they get spooked they scoot across the water most cartoon-like. Guaranteed to raise a smile on a rainy day.
Merry Christmas to All
'Tis the season to be jolly and with the world in a bit of a ‘febrile’ state I wish you all a simple and carefree Christmas. Kick back, eat lots of mince pies and come over and spend some time with the natural world. It’s great medicine, whatever the ailment.
To all our supporters, volunteers and visitors;
Have a great Christmas, I wish you all a happy time.
• Opening Hours 9am-4pm.
• The Centre Car Park: Will be closed from 11th January for around 1 week. The centre will remain open.
• Christmas Closing: Centre closed on 25th/26th Dec and 31st/1st Jan.
• Evans Hide Balgove: The hide is being completely rebuilt. This should be complete by end of the year. Apologies but the work is much needed. Thank you.
• Donations: Please keep the donations coming, the reserve relies on this support for mini projects and the likes of bird food and feeders for the Centre. The funds are always spent on the welfare of either the birds or visitors. It is very much appreciated and makes a very real difference. Thank You!