Monday, 13 February 2012

Frozen Wasteland!

12th February - the previous afternoon I had toyed with the idea of making a late afternoon visit, but had decided to watch the rugby instead, only to find out later that 4 Smew had made a flying visit at about 5pm.  Therefore, this afternoon I made a visit in the hope of a repeat performance, but no such luck!

The lake was still iced over except for a patch only big enough to accommodate about 5 birds.  There were a few gulls standing about, one of which was a colour-ringed adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.  It bore a dark blue darvic with orange 'AEY' on its left leg.  A quick response from the scheme co-ordinator showed this to be a bird ringed at Gloucester landfill in February 2007.  It has never been recorded out of the country and was most recently seen on 24th January 2012 at Lower Farm GP near Newbury, Berkshire, about 27 miles WSW as the gull flies.  Interestingly, this site also hosted a Ring-billed Gull recently - it would be nice to get this gull to transfer here as well!

Too gloomy to read, but it is 'AEY'
I stayed to see what the usual roost might bring, but unsurprisingly, the gulls had pretty much all departed by dusk.  A wandering fox was an obvious threat.  There was, however, quite a large roost of Jackdaws, which is a feature of this site, which numbered many hundreds.  Another feature is the Magpie roost at the base of the spit - again numbers probably topped 100, but I did not attempt a count.  2 small passerines dived into the reeds near the cottages, of which the one that I saw was a female Reed Bunting - another 1 for the year list.

As I left, the only waterfowl remaining were 2 Egyptian Geese on the spit, a single Greylag in the lake 'puddle' about 30 Teal in a tight group on the spit, a handful of Coot and Moorhen and a pair of Mallard - roll on the predicted thaw!

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