Welcome to the news for February which has roared in much in the same vein as January, wet and windy.
We are on Storm Henry today. This weather will of course affect the reserve in many ways and one of the most notable are the flooded fields providing different feeding opportunities. The larger volume of water down the Eden and what it may be carrying, may have a longer term impact on the estuary. It’s been a good month for sightings though and here are January’s highlights;
The numbers of Pinkfooted geese are very erratic on roosts just now due to the winds and wet fields, as low as 400 up to 1500, low for this time of year. Very few Greylags around. 26 LB Brent and a single Dark bellied Brent in Balgove on 14th. Single Euro Whitefront goose on 7th.
2 Stonechat on 16th in the dunes, a single Sea eagle on 20th too.
Single Barn Owl on 4th.
: 2 Mistle Thrush on 22nd.
WeBS (Estuary Count):
19th Reasonable numbers of waders and wildfowl. 394 Shelduck, 110 Wigeon, 102 Teal, 63 Mallard and 52 Pintail with offshore duck of 7 Long tailed duck, 220 Common scoter and only 29 Eider. Wader numbers were fairly good with 2117 Oystercatcher, 362 Grey plover, 145 Lapwing, 2740 Dunlin, 130 Black tailed godwit and 205 Bar tailed godwit. A nice count of 1430 Redshank. Adding a nice touch were 1 Sea eagle, single Little auk and 2 Snow bunting. Sea eagle: present 9 out of 31 days all single records this month.
As always the centre provides the main spot to pick up birds. Great Northern diver recorded on 25th and 28th. Little grebe present all month with 3 on 24th. 1 Great crested grebe on 28th. Little Egret recorded on 17th and 20th. Reasonable numbers of Goldeneye all month with 17 on 24th. Goosander and RB Merganser present all month in low numbers. Single Kestrel on 7th. A nice 220 Black tailed godwit and 5 Greenshank on 25th. Single Kingfisher sighting on 20th. A single Avocet reported on 14th from a reliable source.
Up on the feeders it’s been very busy with large numbers of the usual tits and finches. Mixed with them have been up to 10 Tree sparrow on many days, Long tailed tits occasionally and Siskin on at least 8 days.
Bird of the Month
Unconfirmed Report: Reported on 14th January from Eden Centre by a reliable source. This handsome and iconic wader is very distinctive with its black and white plumage, graceful walk and upturned bill. Usually found along the south and east coasts of England in winter with around 7500 birds overwintering. The last record on the Eden was on 15th-18th February 2007. A very scarce record and one which reminds us all to look a bit closer, who knows what may turn up.
• Opening Hours 9am-4pm.
• The Centre Car Park: Will be closed during pipe works, this is not running to schedule. Updates will be given when defined.
• Winter Records: Out at West Sands the strong swells of late have thrown up all sorts of interesting sea critters including Ocean Quahog, not rare but not recorded in our database. If you come across anything of interest let us know.
• Visitor Handbook 2016: Out now at Centre priced £1.
• Visitor Log Book: Feel free to write any comments regarding the reserve, support, observations or anything you feel may improve the reserve.
• Donations: Please keep the donations coming, the reserve relies on this support for 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.
Guardbridge Road Closure
The planned pipe works through the car park and park have not yet taken place as scheduled. The roadworks are due to begin in early February. Please expect delays and disruption. The centre may have to be closed but at present it remains open. I will make every attempt to update on the works and effects on the centre as soon as possible via email list and FCCT website, Twitter and Facebook. Thank you.