14th December 2013
Middle of the month usually means WeBS counts, and so today I went down to Whitlingham to see if there had been any further increase in wildowl. The main change was in Teal numbers, now up to 55. On the downside there was no sign of the Shoveler. There was also 215 Gadwall, 124 Tufted Ducks and 168 Coot, along with the usual swans and geese.
Sighting of the day was a couple of Peregrines over the Thorpe Broad. Initially I thought that they were heading of down the valley, but then they flew round. The smaller bird continued over the marsh, where earlier a flock of 25 Snipe had been put up, but the larger bird showed well, giving several fly-pasts. It concentrated on a large raft of Black-headed Gulls, as if trying to spook one into the air, but it never seemed to be in fully focused hunting mode - maybe it just doesn't like gulls. Once both birds had gone from view I continued my counts from the bird screen, where I discussed the birds and the purpose of the counts with an interested walker.