Just had a look around the data on the BTO website, in January 2019 the WeBS count for Gadwall on the Somerset Levels was a total of 654. I presume the BTO classify the Somerset Levels as everywhere North and South of the Poldens, so there certainly has been a Gadwall increase, either a very good breeding season or we’ve collected an extra 500 from somewhere ?
My Westhay Moor WeBS Gadwall count was 207, which is actually quite low, usually 250+, so 1,038 counted on the larger Reserves, well over 1,000 for the Avalon Marshes.
Received a reply from Les Mears, who counted 178 Gadwall on the main part of Ham Wall (north of the old canal/main track), together with my count from Ham Wall (south of the old canal/main track) it gives a total of 415 for the Reserve. Add that to Martin’s count of 416 on Shapwick Heath and you have a grand total of 831 Gadwall for these two main sites. I would guess that Catcott Lows, Westhay Moor and a few smaller sites would take it to c.1000 on the Avalon Marshes?
In the area of Ham Wall (south of the main track/South Drain canal) known as Waltons and Loxtons, where I did my WeBS count on Sunday 12th, there were no Wigeon, but Gadwall nos were high at 237, Shoveler at 101 and Tufted Duck at 52, but only 6 Pochard. Be good to know the count nos from the other main part of Ham Wall north of the main track/South Drain canal.
very high counts of some Duck species this weekend.
Great White Egret 6
Tufted Duck 156
the last 2 are the highest in my 20 years of carrying out the count.