Westhay Moor WeBS count and other bits and pieces

Jon Mattick
Jon Mattick
Total Posts:  63
Joined  12-12-2015
20 February 2023 16:41

I conducted the Westhay Moor WeBS count today, scores on the doors were :
Mute Swan 120
Greylag Goose 38
Canada Goose 38
Widgeon 291
Gadwall 80
Teal 6
Mallard 58
Pintail 7
Shoveler 88
Pochard 57 !
Tufted Duck 30
Goosander 6 (3 male, 3 female)
Cormorant 35
Little Egret 6
GW Egret 8 (two with Black Bills)
Cattle Egret 41
Grey Heron 2
Little Grebe 8 (mostly heard not seen)
GC Grebe 8 (Two pairs displaying)
Water Rail 8 (all heard not seen)
Moorhen 8
Coot 82
Snipe 2
Re the Cattle Egrets, and the other thread on this forum commenting on a lack of them – 26 of these were in a field, with Cattle, at the usual favoured spot below Lands End Farm to the north of North Chine Drove. There was a singleton and another field further East, and the other 14 were roosting with a couple of Little Egrets on Dead Trees protruding from small lake at the Junction of Lewis Drove and Westhay Moor Drove – I’ve never seen them here before.
The count of 57 Pochard is exceptional, I’ve checked back on WeBS Records and the last time there were this many was in 2004, since then counts have been zero or very low single figures. Conversely the Gadwall count was rather low, it’s usually well into 3 figures, normally 200+.
On the Way home across Tealham, two more GWE’s, a Little Egret, 2 Stonechats a Reed Bunting and a singing Skylark. Also two singing Skylarks on Allerton Moor.
Finally – last year a pair of Collared Doves commenced incubating eggs on around 27th December in a tree in my Garden, they successfully raised one Squab at that sitting. This year, on the same nest, they started sitting around the beginning of January, there are now two very well developed Squabs in the nest which look like they will fledge in the next few days !