An early morning visit to the Outfall to check on wildfowl numbers, very, very cold, I am just about functioning and again, I’m questioning if I am losing the plot to keep doing this at this time of morning.
On the way in I got very lucky and had a 1st winter/female Black Redstart fly across the entrance road to the sewer works, a good start and a year tick to boot.
There was at least 6 inches of snow, it makes everywhere look clean and tidy and gives everything a magical look, even a smelly sewer works.
Anyway, back to the birds, when I put my head over the wall to check on the Outfall, the number of wildfowl was staggering, all were piling in due to the big freeze up. Could see that all species had increased, the Tuftie flock looked massive.
Tufted Duck – 514 and not one Scaup amongst them.These as per last year may well be coming off the larger Reservoirs.
Pochard – 26 tucked in with the Tufties
Shoveler – 409, these were still piling in as I was going through them, presumably coming from Crossness or Rainham
Gadwall – 304 again these were still coming in
Teal – a minimum of 700 birds scattered at the Outfall and up the Creek
Shelduck – 116 – a big increase
Redshank – 182 feeding on a rising tide
Black Tailed Godwit – 4 on the mud
Common Sandpiper – 1 on the rocks
Green Sandpiper -1 sewer works
Common Snipe – 18 feeding on very edge of mud
Grey Plover – 1 a site tick, they never usually get this far up
Rock Pipit – 2