Sunday, 9 October 2011

Linacre - 9th October 2011

Another week and another visit to Linacre. This time, however, I got up early and arrived on site at 7.30am. Much better- very few people and the birds were a lot more active. To add to the joy I managed a good mixture of summer and winter visitors, including a very nice wader!

First up this morning were the waterbirds. Mallard numbers were very good with 106 present around all threee reservoirs, Tufted Duck numbers were down with just 16 and there were also 8 Coots, 3 Moorhen, 1 winter plumaged Great crested Grebe, 1 Grey Heron fishing in the middle reservoir, 2 Grey Wagtail, 3 fly-over Canada Geese, 3 Cormorants, 43 Mandarin Ducks, 11 Black-headed Gulls (the first of the winter), and best of all a Common Sandpiper!! The sandpiper, which may also have been here last week, was present on the middle reservoir and fed right in front of me on the rocks of the dam wall. Unfortunately I only had my small camera with me, but I managed to get this awful shot showing the white "shoulder straps" diagnostic for this species.

Common Sandpiper

Small birds were more active this week, the highlight being two small warblers feeding in the willows around the boardwalk by the top reservoir. Last year we had a Chiffchaff singing in this area in October and, although I only got a few brief sightings, I think these two could have been Chiffchaffs too. Also present were Bullfinch (heard),  singing Wren and Robin, Blackbird, several very vocal Jays and Nuthatch.

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