cold effects

The cold has produced some good, not so good, and interesting birding over the last few days.

Yesterday the beach was busy – Grey Plovers, Redshanks, Sanderlings, Lapwing, Gulls, Dunlin, a single swan coming in off the sea, c20 Long Tailed Ducks over the water and a possible Purple Sandpiper.  The best of it though was when first at the beach 3 Snipe were flushed from near the dunes.  Patch tick in the bag.  Brilliant hours birding that was.

Today the beach was empty.  Not even the regular Sanderling could be found.  I think this may have more to do with the level of the tide than the temperature change (a heady three degrees of heat today).  At about 13:30 there was a big flock of Swans (perhaps a ‘bank’ of Swans – but that might only be when on the water) that flew in off the sea and straight over Yarmouth.  They were about a mile or so from me so all I know is that they were swans.

The most interesting thing today was a female Kestrel that I saw on four occasions (assumed to be the same bird).  About 9am it was chasing off a Sparrowhawk (which again was seen later worrying the pigeons) and then it was seen hunting (hovering a lot) mid morning, lunchtime and mid-afternoon which makes me think that it hasn’t got a meal today.  I’m guessing that it isn’t finding much in the way of mammals in the dunes and that the Meadow Pipits, which although are a little less flighty in the cold, are still able to evade the kestrel’s grasp.

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