Thursday, 30 December 2010

Colour ringed Belgium Gull.

The Black Headed Gull that has been frequenting my garden was rung at Lommel in Belgium on the 23rd May 2010. It was a chick and was colour ringed as part of a Belgium ringing project. See their website at for all the details. They have some great maps that show that some of their gulls have taken the slightly more pleasant option of over wintering near Madrid! EAAR was first reported at Thornton on 15th November. As you can see from the photos the letters are black on a yellow colour ring. Other sightings recently include a Water Rail and Snipe. 43 Redwing were in my garden on 26th Dec.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Great Coot Migration!

The Coot Migration!

On the 19th December there were only two areas of open water on the res. as I carried out my Webs count. I thought it would be easy, but I had not considered the Great Coot migration. I had just finished counting the Coot in one open area and was walking around to the next area, when I noticed that all the Coot were on the move. It was like something out of the Masai Mara as they all decamped and headed off to the next watering hole. On the 22nd a female Brambling was in the garden. Water Rails have been seen both at the Stanton inflow and down the main outflow stream below the dam. Today there were 104 Teal which is by far the highest number I have ever recorded. There has also been a colour ringed Black Headed Gull in my garden ,which was rung in Belgium. More details to follow. Six Siskins were at the top end.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

In the bleak mid winter!

It has been difficult over the last 2 weeks to have enough day light to report much local avian activity. The ice has come and gone, but now looks like it will return as we head towards Christmas. On the 3rd there were 35 Mute Swans occupying the small area of open water. A male Blackcap was feeding from apples that I had stuck in the garden hedge on the 11th. Teal numbers rose to a maximum of 51 on the 12th. This is the highest count that I have had at Thornton and may indicate frozen waters elsewhere.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Winter returns.

A wintery scene at Thornton.
Tough conditions for this Heron.

The two inflow ends of the reservoir are frozen and wildfowl numbers are increasing. Species today included Little Owl, Water Rail, 4 Goosander (1 male,3 female) and 2 Ravens. On the 28th. November there were 36 Teal, a very good count for Thornton. There was also this Black headed gull that had not noticed the change in the season!

Common Gull?

On the 13th. Nov. I noticed this first winter Common gull that seemed rather diminutive. It wasn,t until recently that I remembered last years Mew gull debate. I am no expert, but this bird does seem to have a short bill and ,well it grabbed my attention enough to snap off a shot.