The Wetlands Birds Survey count is recorded every month. The Tranquil Otter is an important site on the Solway Estuary. Our neighbour, Trevor, is a volunteer counter and can be seen on the date of the count with his westie, Archie.
Trevor’s Report on 23rd January 2019
“I did the WeBS count yesterday. It was the most difficult count I’ve had at the Lough (apart from today when I see nothing through the fog! ).
I’m not complaining, variation and challenge make the count interesting! However, the water level is the highest I’ve seen and the margins are flooded. The ducks were taking full advantage of this extra feeding habitat and many were impossible to count from the dock/deck/north-bank. As I walked around the pathway I could hear them flushing out of the cover, but couldn’t see them and, by the time I’d got to an observation point they had resumed their position. Additionally, several of the lodges had no parked cars (likely occupants gone out). The lack of their sounds/movements encouraged birds to move much closer to the bank and out of sight from the dock.”
“The numbers below are what I actually counted, but I think for mallard/wigeon/teal/moorhen etc the reality would be somewhere between 50-100% higher. When I saw the overnight freeze I hoped that the ice would push them all back into the open water and I’d get greater accuracy, but the fog never cleared. Maybe tomorrow ……….!”
- Black-headed gull 1,
- Coot 40,
- Gadwall 3 pair,
- Greylag goose 5,
- Little grebe 4,
- Mallard 70,
- Moorhen 5,
- Mute swan 16,
- Shoveler 10,
- Teal 28,
- Tufted duck 40,
- Wigeon 150.
Numbers worthy of comment:
The gadwall numbers are the lowest that I’ve experienced; normally range 40-100
Shoveler numbers are the highest seen at the Lough; last week there were 7 pairs.
I didn’t count in the woodland, but my ears told me that all the usual species are present. No woodpecker drumming yet, but I think it will happen within a week or so.
We hope you enjoy the Wildlife Report January 2019. Did you manage to see any Moorhen? or Gadwall?