Thursday, 16 February 2012

Bountiful Buckenham

A morning of taking water conductivities at Strumpshaw followed by a survey at Buckenham and Cantley allowed me to put my bins round my neck and have a look around.
The highlights were certainly the numbers of waders present at Buckenham frantically feeding in the soft mud and many pools that have developed since the thaw. The first good wader was found by counting the Ruff, one looked quite a bit smaller and turned out to be a Dunlin. I wondered if it was James' bird relocating from Whitlingham, however I scanned to the right and had another 7 feeding by it. The total count of Dunlin for the site was 18, which is certainly my record count for the Mid-Yare. As I walked towards the hide it was evident that there were a good number of Black Tailed Godwits too, these were also feeding furiously making counting difficult, I got to 147 noting a couple of ringed birds in the flock, which I will send the info off,  nice to see that they have returned again this year, they stayed right up to our first breeding birds count last year. The final wader movement was noted when 31 Curlew flew in from the East, not such an unusual bird in the Mid Yare, but this is not a bad count, certainly the biggest flock so far this year.
So waders aside there were also 67 Bean Geese, 172 White Fronts, 1 Lesser Whitefront as well as 2600+ Wigeon.
At Strumpshaw in the morning I had my first  Merlin of the year fly almost over my head at sandy wall, 1 Bittern also seen well, on the snipe front it was a little disappointing with just 1 common and 1 Jack. I suspect the snipe have moved off since the ground was frozen, hopefully they will be back before the end of winter.

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