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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Thames High Tide Roost Count - 2nd Winter February 20th

Along with a group of others, many who had taken part in the 1st count of 2010, selected sites were again monitored for wader numbers in the Inner Thames. The purpose of these counts is to earmark locations where the birds are roosting, be it Jetties or Structures. The info can then be used for future reference if any developments are planned in the immediate area or on the structure itself.

The Environment Agency has offered to help in some capacity and will shortly be forwarded maps so that locations can be logged and recorded, records can then be used for mitigation.

On top of this it also shows just how important the Inner Thames is as a wintering area for waders, although , as expected, numbers do not match the Outer Thames with a more rural habitat and wider mud flats, for a metropolitan urban area, it is excellent.


Avocet – 82  Black Tailed Godwit – 27  Common Sandpiper - 6  Curlew - 23  Dunlin - 471  Lapwing - 75 Oystercatcher - 29   Redshank - 481   Ringed Plover - 1

Observers and sites

Barking Outfall – D. Morrison   Barking Bay – P. Hawkins  Dagenham Riverside – D. Morrison  East India Dock Basin – N. Tanner  Rainham RSPB – S. Bacon  Stone Barges - S. Harvey  West Thurrock Marshes – D. Jefferies

Not quite the good results we had on the 1st winter count, these results may be a reflection of milder weather movement with birds drifting back down river towards Tilbury and Canvey. One of the glaring omissions is Black Tailed Godwit, 588 recorded in the 1st period and only 27 for the 2nd.I cannot see that many birds moving back down river, going on past records for this time of year, so it is likely that there is a roost we don’t know about, or they piled into Crossness which was not covered.

The same could also be applied for Redshank.

Redshank arriving to roost at Dagenham Riverside
The Rainham RSPB count was very unusual with not one wader flying onto the Reserve to roost, at one time it always held a good flock of roosting Black Tailed Godwit, one reason may be the amount of work that is ongoing. Additionally the lack of Lapwing numbers recorded on the survey is likely down to the massive flock on the Reserve that are more or less resident, these do not seem to be using the Thames roosts at the moment. Certainly the flock must be approaching 800 when seen recently.

Photo by Dick Jefferies.Part of the record Avocet flock at West Thurrock Marshes

Avocets continue to break London records with a flock of 80 seen by Dick Jefferies, surpassing the 59 in the 1st period. These were again recorded at West Thurrock Marshes and it is good to see this elegant wader doing well, not only locally but nationally as well.

Thanks to all who took part, hopefully we can keep it going this forthcoming winter.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice blog and pictures! I will keep my eye on it from time to time.

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