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WHITLINGHAM: October WeBS count & leaf mines

14th October 2018

Wildfowl numbers often steeply increase in either October or November, but perhaps not too unexpectedly given the continued warm weather this hadn't happened yet. There was a bit more variety than in September, but numbers were generally low. In addition to 2 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler (one each at Whitlingham and Thorpe), 1 Pochard and 4 Teal, the key counts were:

Mute Swan: 22 (2017: 24, 2016: 36)
Gadwall: 48 (2017: 6, 2016: 25) 
Mallard: 63 (2017: 57, 2016: 54)
Tufted Duck: 52 (2017: 4, 2016: 24)
Coot: 96 (2017: 58, 2016: 163)
Cormorant:69 (2017: 66, 2016: 43)

Analysing the numbers back at home I was a bit surprised to see that with the possible exception of Coot, the October counts were actually on the high side for the time of year. It remains to be seen if this trend continues into November, or if the arrival has just begun a bit earlier this year. Away from the water a small flock of Siskins called, and a trickle of Redwings and Meadow Pipits flew over. A Chiffchaff singing from the east end of the Great Broad  added an early spring feel to the day.

A leaf mine of Stigmella aceris was found in Norway Maple, a new site record. Occupied mines of Stigmella basiguttella in Oak and Stigmella tiliae in Lime were also good to see (my Whitlingham leaf mine guides will be updated at some point this winter).

 Stigmella aceris
 Stigmella basiguttella
 Stigmella tiliae

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