Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Rings Around The World

Back in mid-October I noted 3 Canada geese out on Aldcliffe Marsh that were sporting red darvic rings on their left legs, and standard BTO rings on their right legs. A bit of digging around revealed that these were likely part of a scheme being run in Windermere by the RSPCA in association with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust to determine the movements of the Lake District geese.
Today I came across 8 such birds and managed to read the numbers on 5 of them. The info has been sent on to those involved in the research and I will post on here any interesting feedback that I get concerning these geese.

I've been scouting around the Aldcliffe / Freeman's Pools patch a fair bit recently but it's been fairly unremarkable in many ways.
Wildfowl numbers seem pretty low on the whole. Gadwall numbers seem to be sticking at 5, although there were 9 present one day last week. Teal are averaging around the 50 mark while at least 94 wigeon were on Frog Pond for a day, boosting the usual 20+. A first-year male tufted duck has arrived on Freeman's Pools in the past couple of days, joining the female that's been there for a while and a single goldeneye has been in residence for a day or so.
Coot are down with fewer than 10 birds present, and just a couple of little grebe are sticking around at the moment.
A lone drake shoveler has been hanging around at the Wildfowlers' Pools and up to 3 goosanders have been on the river. 
The majority of geese in the area comprise the feral masses; greylags and Canadas. Today there were just 9 pink-footed geese in total on the ground, 5 in the fields and 4 on the marsh. A skein of c180 headed north.
I suppose things will change significantly once we get a decent cold snap.

Ring-billed gull - not at Aldcliffe...
The hedgerows are still bustling with fieldfare although last week's flock of up to 90 birds has dwindled down to around 40. Several redwing too are feeding on the rapidly disappearing hawthorn berries alongside multiple blackbirds and handful of song and mistle thrushes.
A few goldcrest can be found in the hedges too, along with flocks of long-tailed tits.
A small flock of 9 meadow pipits were in the fields near Frog Pond this morning and another 3 were on the tideline with pied wagtails.
A single siskin was in Freeman's Wood this morning, close to the cycle track near the Freeman's Pools watchpoint.

Wader numbers continue to remain pretty stable with lapwing, golden plover, curlew, redshank and dunlin all present on the Lune - though it looks as if we may have a blank year as far as over-wintering green sandpipers goes. I haven't seen one since October 16th, but it's possible one's around somewhere off the beaten track?

An adult Mediterranean gull on the river at high tide this morning, was almost certainly the same bird that I saw feeding in nearby fields with about 600 black-headed gulls on Friday. Given the possible ring-billed gull seen at Torrisholme recently I scrutinised every common gull but they all turned to be just that.
I've attached a pic of a ring-billed gull that I took in Canada a while back just in case you need reminding of what to look out for!   



ray said...

Super Furry Animals !

Jon Carter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Carter said...

I was hoping someone might spot that Ray! By the way, I saw the fabulous Euros Childs (of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci fame) a couple of weeks ago live in Morecambe. It was quite, quite brilliant!

ray said...

I'm irked ! Very irked. Almost disgruntled in fact.