Sunday, 15 January 2017

Carew/Cresswell Rivers, Cosheston Pill - WeBs

This mornings WeBs counts produced relatively modest numbers of birds. Wigeon and Teal numbers (at least 500-600 of each species) although still quite reasonable, were well down on December totals. Five pintail and a couple of shovelers at New Shipping Point area were typical numbers for this location in early January.

Wader numbers too, were down on December counts, with only c.700 dunlin on the Carew/Cresswell, a couple of hundred lapwings and no obvious golden plovers at all. There seemed to be no sign of any grey plovers this morning - usually a regular species in small numbers in the area. There were only five black-tailed godwits obvious at Cosheston Pill this morning (last Sunday there were 30+). Annie recorded 3 ringed plovers along the Daugleddau, where they seem to have become less regular in recent years.

Along the Carew/Cresswell shore as the tide dropped, some lapwings appeared to be resting in very narrow drainage slits in the mud - possibly sheltering from the wind, or maybe just trying to maintain a low profile to keep out of the way of aerial predators?

As well as a few buzzards and a sparrowhawk, a rather scruffy-looking immature female peregrine was hunting over the estuary. Having failed to catch teal/wigeon after at least one attempt, she landed briefly on a rock at the edge of the saltmarsh.

There's possibly been a small influx of winter thrushes to this area - mainly fieldfares. Small flocks of 30-50 were noted in a few locations around the Daugleddau, West Williamston and Carew areas. When totalled up there were probably 200-300 at least. Late this afternoon small flocks were also noted near Ludchurch.

Yesterday afternoon we had a short stroll from Amroth up to Telpyn Point and back. Small parties of feeding common scoter and at least 6 red-breasted mergansers were reasonably visible offshore but the larger scoter flocks of 200-500 or more were much more distant. There must have been at least 1,000-2,000 further out into the bay.