Sunday, 16 February 2014

WeBS and woods - mixed fortunes

This morning after work I undertook the monthly WeBS count at Stithians. The crap weather recently seems to have pushed everything off possibly down into Spain? The reservoir held no Gadwall, no Pochard, no Teal, Wigeon numbered only 12. GC Grebe usually return by the end of January in their winter plumage, today nothing. Taking the Slavonian Grebe out of it the only other sightings of note were 6 Goldeneye and 9 Raven (over).

Even my feeding station was quiet, two Moscovy Ducks still providing the menace factor.....

The cut off looked nice but provided only 1 Coot and 2 Tufted Duck

The second WeBS count of the day was Pendarves Lake. This is owned by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. It's just a shame that the hut is no longer used.

The path to the lake is in bad condition following weeks of heavy rain. The surface water is mis-leading, underneath lays 6" of mud and silt requiring wellies to pass.

A deep pit has formed here

Another fallen tree

And the lake itself which harboured 5 Tufted Duck - The 34th WeBS record in as many years showing how scarce they are at this location due to the shallow water. There is water flowing in and out of the lake and I've never seen it frozen giving birds a place of shelter when everywhere else is frozen over....

A walk in the local woods afterwards at home yielded far more. The target species was again Treecreeper, one was heard but not seen. What were seen however was a group of 5 Buzzard, a pair of Jay, a pair of Nuthatch and a Raven. Also had a couple hundred Chaffinch in a field but no Brambling in with them.

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