Bird News: Ibsley Water – Bewick’s swan 5, pintail 17+, black-tailed godwit 1, shelduck 1, yellow-legged gull c10, ruddy duck 1, goosander 98. Ivy Lake – Cetti’s warbler 1, bittern 1. Woodland – brambling 1.
I arrived just early enough to see the Bewick’s swans before they left their roost on Ibsley Water, they must be the same as I saw ten days or so ago despite some “differences”. When I first saw them it was coming into roost and I thought they were four adults and one juvenile, however today it was obvious that there were two juveniles. My error had been pointed out by John Levell who had seen them in the Avon Valley, to make my excuse it had been pretty close to being dark when I saw them. Perhaps as significant was that the two juveniles are of quiet different shades, one much paler than the other. That fact and the behaviour of the group suggests to me that the group are a pair with one juvenile and a single parent with the other. Later in the day I was briefly at Harbridge and I could see them up the valley, north of the “usual” field, but still visible form the bridge. Also on Ibsley water first thing was a single black-tailed godwit, at least 17 pintail, a drake shelduck (sheldrake), an adult yellow-legged gull and the now regular drake ruddy duck.
At the Woodland hide I heard, but could not see, a brambling in the tree tops. Later I paid a quick visit in daylight, a rare treat, and there were several siskin and lesser redpoll. At the Ivy North I had a good view of the Cetti’s warbler and heard reports of the bittern having been seen flying over to the right of the hide. For whatever reason there have been a lot of sightings of bittern flying this year, I hardly remember more than a handful over the last few years.
lesser redpoll on feeder
Towards the end of the day I decided to make the most of the conditions and get a count of the goosander roost and perhaps get a few gull ring numbers into the bargain. The gulls did not play ball and apart from about 10 yellow-legged gulls of various ages and 3 common gull there was not much to report. The goosander did not disappoint though, by the time it got too dark to see I had counted at least 98 into the roost, I am pretty sure there were actually 100, but there was quite a bit of movement at the time and I could not be sure how many had flown in. Still a good count as it is still quite early in the season and we are still to have any proper cold weather.
The view from the Goosander hide was not only of roosting birds however, north of the hide along the bank, as dusk fell, the fallow deer emerged. There were two bucks, neither yet in their prime, a normally coloured one and the white one. There was also a very pale sandy coloured pricket and three or more does.
I see the new blog has now passed fifty followers, many thanks to all those who came over from the old one and a warm welcome to any of you who are newcomers.