Sunday, 17 January 2016

Cleddau Estuary plus Pembroke Millpond this morning

This mornings WeBs counts were interesting. It almost seemed very spring-like with many resident passerines singing. There were very few wigeon around in the estuary sections we counted (none at all along the Carew River section). In January wigeon are often the most obvious/numerous duck in this area. Teal were more obvious but even their numbers weren't especially high. Single numbers of greenshank were noted in typical locations at Cosheston Pill, Carew River, Cresswell River and at Garron Pill.

There were large numbers of golden plover and lapwing in the air this morning. Between us (counting separate sections at more or less the same time) we noted c. 3,000-4,000 golden plovers along the Daugleddau and c.1,000 along Carew River. Lapwing numbers were a bit lower, with c, 1,000 along the Daugleddau and close to 2,000 along Carew River.

Stubble fields, being grazed by sheep, up the Carew River also held quite a lot of small birds this morning, including: c. 700+ linnets and 2-300 chaffinches plus quite an impressive feeding flock of not less than 175 stock doves spread out over a few fields. Just occasionally the whole flock would join up in the air, but then split up and land to feed mostly out of site. It was just a pity that they were all too far away for any decent photos when this happened. The closest part of the flock fed in a stubble field near a hedge, but these were still some 500 metres away.
A small part of the stock dove flock; they were distributed over a few fields some distance away

Other stock doves were moving between fields further away but were soon lost from view
Ravens were quite numerous, with much displaying and aerobatics. Yesterday a flock of 16 ravens was feeding along the Angle peninsula coastline.

A bit earlier in the morning, a male goshawk was chased off over Cosheston Pill by local magpies, heading generally in the direction of Pembroke.

At Pembroke Millpond the two scaup have now been joined by a male pochard.

Two firecrests and a chiffchaff were near Barnard's Tower, in the trees below the railway embankment.

A couple of days ago, there was a great northern and a red-throated diver in the bay at Freshwater East plus c. 45 common gulls on the beach there.