Sunday, 18 December 2016

Carew/Cresswell estuary complex - WeBs

It didn't look particularly promising this morning for a WeBs count due to quite foggy conditions.  It remained generally quite murky all morning but eventually the mist lifted sufficiently enough to enable counts to be made. 

It was just about possible to make out closer large species in the mist, but not much else!
When the mist lifted, it soon became obvious that numbers of lapwing (c.2,500) and golden plover (c. 1,500) were particularly high. Similar numbers of golden plover were also noted along the Daugleddau near Landshipping at the same time by Annie who was walking that way. Dunlin numbers (c. 1,000 at the Black Mixen area) were also quite high. 

As the tide dropped, mixed fairly linear flocks of waders and waterfowl were observed to be generally distributed along most of the entire channel system in both the Carew and Cresswell rivers. These flocks included at least 1,200+ wigeon (probably quite a few more) and c.800+ to 1,000 teal (also probably a considerable underestimate)

Mixed flocks of  wetland birds were present along all the channels

Numbers of Curlew (less than 80 seen), shelduck (c.75) and redshank (50+) were relatively low by comparison. Small numbers of black-tailed godwits were also present (c. 28) and there was a similar sized flock at Cosheston Pill.  

A single common sandpiper was present just downstream of Carew Mill (an over-wintering bird perhaps?) and at least two water pipits were seen briefly on the edge of the saltmarsh at New Shipping. They flew off up the Carew River and were not seen again. A kingfisher flying across the saltmarsh at New Shipping did its best to brighten up an otherwise gloomy grey day.