The Whitlingham Bird Report 2020 is available now (click here)

For previous years (2012-2019) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

WHITLINGHAM: July WeBS counts plus some Fiddle Dock

5th July 2020

Another early-in-the-month WeBS date, and back into the swing of things now. Nothing out of the ordinary seen in terms of birds, although the Barnacle Goose is still present - it will be a whole year next month. There were still large numbers of summer wildfowl, the 2020 counts below along with those from the past three years. In particular note that both Greylag and Canada Goose numbers are double the 2019 counts, which were already higher themselves than the previous two years. Egyptian Goose numbers are roughly stable, whilst Mallard numbers were lower.

Selected counts:
Mute Swan 84 (2019: 108, 2018: 114, 2017: 85)
Greylag Goose 186 (2019: 91, 2018: 72, 2017: 26)
Canada Goose 137 (2019: 71, 2018: 9, 2017: 32)
Egyptian Goose 25 (2019: 31, 2018: 8, 2017: 33)
Mallard 68 (2019: 91, 2018: 83, 2017: 155)

I should also mention that several of the Mute Swans had orange leg rings with black lettering. This is a long standing East Anglian ringing project that has received new emphasis recently, with UEA Ringing Group member Stephen Vickers ringing around 50 swans locally. If you do see one and can read the ring then please report it to the scheme organiser Mike Reed using the details on this link (if you see it at Whitlingham I would appreciate hearing about it too!)

As always I kept a look out for anything of interest on my way round. Batia lunaris was a smart little moth on the hedge near the car park, whilst Fiddle Dock was a new species for my site plant list, as was Short-fruited Willowherb (I'd genuinely not seen the former here before, whilst I had seen the latter but not identified it correctly). The small soldierfly Pachygaster atra was already on the site list having been recorded by Tim Hodge but was new for me, and finally using the new ALS lure I confirmed that Lunar Hornet Moths are present on site. I had long thought they probably were, but had been unable to find any exit holes - perhaps they are lower down the trunk than Hornet Moth, and therefore hidden in the udnergrowth.

Batia lunaris

Fiddle Dock

Short-fruited Willowherb
Pachygaster atra
Ceratapion gibbirostre (a long pointy weevil on thistles)
Lunar Hornet Moth

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