Out for the Count

Decembers waterbird count was done in poor conditions with wind and rain, so we had hopes for better for January, however we did the count today in heavy rain and a stiff south-east wind, strengthening and turning to the north-east. In truth the weather was vile and the count poor as a result, with most of the birds hiding behind banks and down ditches and I can’t blame them.

Despite the terrible weather I did see a few birds today, a female marsh harrier was hunting the reedbed, I’m pretty sure it was an adult, I also heard a chiffchaff calling in the reeds and several bearded tits. I got a sort picture of sorts of the harrier, which is to say, a very bad one, but claim the appalling weather as an extenuating circumstance.

female marsh harrier

female marsh harrier

The count was very difficult but we got something for almost all species, the brent goose count might actually have been rather good. In with the flocks of dark-bellied brent there was the single pale-bellied brent and the red-breasted goose.

The most remarkable thing about the day was that I was joined by five volunteers for the count, I would not really have blamed them if they had stayed at home! The dedication of the people who turn out to these counts is extraordinary and they would not be possible without them. When the figures are compiled I will post a summary.


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