It's been quite a week down here now the water levels are ideal and the feeding perfect for resident and migrant birds. Houghton is a bit low now and most of the following birds are to be found on Edderthorpe. The WeBS count today (Sunday) is one of our highest totals ever, 3056 waterbirds were counted (not including any gulls) and the following are selected highlights;-
Canada Goose 402, Greylag Goose 183, Mallard 840, Teal 240, Shoveler 104, Gadwall 209, Garganey 4, Pochard 22, Moorhen 77, Water Rail 1, Lapwing 830, Common Sandpiper 4, Green Sandpiper 4, Knot 1 adult, Little Ringed Plover 1, Ruff 2, Greenshank 13 (largest count for many years).
During the week a Little Stint has been present most days, 3 Turnstone on Thursday, 5 Greenshank on Monday, Dunlin most days, up to 19 Little Egrets, cream-crown Marsh Harriers have been seen most days with 2 hunting together on Friday. The Marsh Harriers are causing havoc amongst the waders and smaller wildfowl, as is a Peregrine which is also visiting regularly.
However, these were all put firmly in the shadow this morning (Sunday) when a adult Honey Buzzard went over the Flash disturbing all the waders as it slowly circled away southwards watched by 4 lucky observers at 09.20 for 5 minutes (it would have been 5 but John Clarkson had just left for his breakfast - unlucky). Quite a week! (and we haven't been able to say that often during the last few relatively barren years!)