Thursday, 17 February 2011


A group of thirteen shelduck were squabbling with each other on the park's grazing fields during the high tide roost on Thursday 17th. It's only been in the last few days that the shelduck have been gathering in these fields, which is usually an indication that they're thinking about the impending breeding season. Several pairs of shelduck stay in the area during the spring, prospecting rabbit burrows in the hedgerows for potential nesting sites.

Other birds present for the high tide roost included 100 redshank, 30 snipe, 70 curlew, 20 turnstone and 20 dunlin. Only about 20 black-tailed godwits were present compared with 150 a couple of days earlier and there weren't any groups of lapwing either. At least 250 teal were around the pools with a few shoveler and gadwall, while also present in the fields were 300 wigeon and 400 brent geese. Earlier in the week a grey heron and a little egret dropped onto the pools late in the afternoon. Also of very local interest for the fields was the sight of 2 pairs of rooks strutting across the grass looking for food. Considering there is a healthy rookery of 50+ pairs only a mile to the west, the rooks never come to the park fields to feed.

Not much to report offshore over the last few days although a distant group of 15+ eider have still been in the Colne. On Monday 2 Slavonian grebes were out at sea to the south-west of the park with 50 great crested grebes also noted here.

The park pond has been quieter this week with a few gadwall and 9 tufted ducks the main wildfowl present. In the car park a male sparrowhawk flashed across low as it headed to the cliff-top trees. Late afternoons has seen the daily gathering of 40 goldfinches in the trees getting ready to roost. The birds all take part in a cheery sing-song to each other before dropping down into the thick bushes at the end of the day.

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