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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Inner Thames Wader survey




November 30th



This is the 6th year running that this has taken place, again very kindly led by the Environment Agency who again provided the time and boat to monitor high tide wader roosts within the Inner Thames.

The areas covered, as in previous years, were from Broadness Point, Swanscombe then upriver to Beckton, Galleons Reach.

A four man crew consisted of Peter, Dan, Kat and myself.

This will go down as the coldest one yet, I am pretty conditioned to cold weather having worked outside most of my life, having a good layer of blubber around my waistline helped but I was still bloody freezing.

Travelling along the Thames at 25 knots in sub zero temperatures, sitting in the same position for 4 hours is not ideal, after an hour my feet and hands had disappeared and were completely dead despite multiple layers of clothing.

However the birding as always provided great highlights and kept us all ticking over as we checked the various roosts and collected the data along with a number of photos.


Dunlin

Golden Plover

Johnson's Wharf Roost

Fords Dagenham Roost

Grey Plover

Johnson's Wharf Roost



Johnson's Wharf Roost


New Roost

Stone Barges - Turnstone

Stone Ness Point


Single Avocet at West Thurrock, couldn't get closer water to shallow


The photos help a lot, I can do estimated counts of the various roosts but for accuracy the best way by far is to count the various species later on a photo. Additionally it also turns up species that may be missed first time round, this was illustrated when I found Avocet and Ringed Plover from distant photos.



Results below for this year and comparison data underneath from 2016.


Totals 



2017

2016


Curlew

21

16 


Redshank

515

554


Lapwing

434

388


Dunlin

1719

1644


Oystercatcher

0

0


Grey Plover

3

3


Black Tailed Godwit

324

252


Turnstone

1

1


Ruff

0

0


Ringed Plover

2

2


Avocet

1

0


Common Sandpiper

2

0


Bar Tailed Godwit

0

1

All looks pretty similar to 2016; Black Tailed Godwit numbers are ok again but Redshank show a slight decline again. However looking back further, it could just be our recent milder winters are not pushing birds up the Thames like it used to when winters were harder.

A new roost was also located between Fords and Ferry Lane.

This Harbour Seal followed us for a short while.





A big thanks again to the Environment Agency.



























                                                                                                                             







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