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Avocet On December - 15 - 2013


Well it had to happen one day – the weather was somewhat grey and damp to say the least. Still 50 or so people braved the elements and while waiting at Saltash several of the party watched a Peregrine on the bridge. We began our usual  route up the River Tamar. As we were on neap tides the birds were rather distant in the lower reaches of the river and the large mussel banks normally exposed at low tide remained covered. However this was compensated by the fact we were able get further upstream than normal and we had great views of Avocets, some feeding on the mudbanks and some in the water, upwards of 150 in total. Other highlights were good numbers of Shelduck and a large flock of Lapwing. On the River Lynher, three Spoonbill were on the north shore near to where we saw them on the last trip. However on this occasion they chose not to fly down to roost on Rat island preferring to fly onto the saltmarsh. As they were 2 adults and a juvenile it is probable that they were the same birds as those seen in November. The dull weather limited the opportunities for photography so no images on this occasion. Thanks to all involved – lets hope for better weather next January.

Notable counts recorded on 15th December 2013 by Derek Julian

Tamar Lynher   Tamar Lynher
Avocet 169 0       Mute Swan 3 0
Black-headed Gull 407 96       Oystercatcher 34 44
Black-tailed Godwit 33 0      Peregrine 1 0
Carrion Crow 54 32      Redshank 14 24
Cormorant 16 18      Red-breasted Merganser 0 0
Curlew 43 71      Shelduck 62 172
Diver sp. 1 0       Spoonbill 0 3
Dunlin 33 13      Starling 120 60
Feral Pigeon 80 0       Teal 64 96
Great Black-backed Gull 16 25       Wigeon 40 151
Great Crested Grebe 2 6      
Heron 3 7      
Herring Gull 45 92      
Lapwing 126 0      
Little Egret 3 9      
Little Grebe 1 8      
Mallard 38 114      
Mallard hybrid 3 0      



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