Monday, 21 November 2016

Some Sunday observations in South Pembs

A roosting flock of 54 ringed plovers on Frainslake beach, was probably the highlight at this location yesterday morning. Numbers there of oystercatcher (67) and curlew (49) being lower than last months counts.

Several little grebes were on Frainslake millpond. Although this small pool attracts quite good numbers regularly each winter, the November total was not nearly as high as that on Pembroke millponds (see a recent posting by Clive Hurford) who recorded 39 there recently - possibly a new record count for the site? A quick look at WeBs count trends over the last few decades shows the gradual rise in importance of Pembroke Millponds for little grebes.
Little Grebe WeBs count trends at Pembroke Millponds during the last c. 30 years

A late morning look at the Carew/Cresswell river system revealed that teal and wigeon numbers had increased significantly there during the last few weeks. There were at least several hundred teal but more than 1,250 wigeon - the highest early winter wigeon count there for more than a decade.

Numbers of other waterfowl were fairly typical for the time of year with a few greenshanks roosting, c. 90 redshank, a dozen or more grey plovers and a similar number of black-tailed godwits. The latter species seems to be to be appearing more regularly now and perhaps in increasing numbers along this section of the Cleddau estuary complex.

Later in the day, we had a look at the Slebech starling roost. Numbers coming in to the reedbed weren't spectacular, but seemed to be higher than they were a couple of weeks ago. There must have been at least 50,000 to 70,000 (possibly up to 100,000) present.

Must get round to counting the dots one day!
Small numbers of redwings were among various thrushes roosting in the woodland near the viewpoint, where a firecrest was also heard close by at probable regular roost location.