WeBs on Rishton Reservoir and a Woodcock in the garden

Today is the core count day for the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBs) and so I headed out early to see what was lurking on Rishton Reservoir. I was not disappointed!

The past week or so has seen freezing temperatures but not the really low temperatures being experienced in the east nor any significant snow fall. However, the canal and reservoir have had a good covering of ice and that has concentrated the birds from the area onto the only open patch of water.

The Greenland White-fronted Goose seems to have lost its partner and occasionally shows with the Canada Geese that have reached record numbers (324 today). Today I picked it up as it flew off as I was counting them! It's the first bird to leave the roost so you have to be there early to get any view. Still not sure where it goes during the day but perhaps I'll take a trip along the canal and see if it's hanging around any likely spots.

Also today, there were good counts of Wigeon (8), Teal (21) and Tufted Duck (24 with 29 yesterday). There were nine Mute Swans and a total of 42 Coot - most of which were feeding on the dam wall showing their legs and allowing me to see that one was colour-ringed; yellow on right and blue on left, under the metal ring.
Black-headed Gulls on the ice
Other birds today included a fine Kingfisher, a displaying pair of Great Crested Grebes and three Moorhens.
Tufted Ducks hiding from view
In the garden, we did some ringing last weekend but didn't catch much of note. A Treecreeper being the best bird, however we did trap a total of seven different Robins in the morning as well as a couple of new Blackbirds. These have been prominent tis past wee with up to twelve in the garden at once.On Wednesday, I was home early so went out to scatter a few apples as they'd scoffed the rest only to put up a Woodcock from the dip! A remarkable garden tick as it flew back over the house. I haven't seen it since but it may be lurking in the damp areas around the stream.

There's a smattering of song eminating from the woods now. Song and Mistle Thrushes are singing and this weekend Chaffinches and Greenfinches had started. Spring will soon be here!


  1. Hi Dave, like your blog. Hope you don't mind but we posted a link to it on our WeBS facebook page http://www.facebook.com/WetlandBirdSurvey


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