Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Kickstarting The Tens

New decade, same routine.

I started this 'project' in 2007 to build up a pile of data on the Kelk area with a view to doing something unspecified. One weekend per month, covering roughly the same ground, for as long as possible. The first couple of years were a bit of a trial, building up a decent routine and getting a baseline to work with.

Since everyone seems to like the numerical simplicity of thinking about decades, I now have a 'proper decade' of data, 2010-19.

Yay, I did it!

Of course now I'm left asking what the heck to do with it all. Some clever and fancy analysis is clearly the order of the day. Hmm.

While there were several very unexpected birds (Black-bellied Dipper!!) I think my over-riding sense of what distinguished the decade was the change in status of Little Egret. As 2010 opened I had recorded just one bird previously, in 2007. By the end of the decade multiple birds were wintering in the area and the peak of 14 last November was merely the continuation of a trend. How far away is a breeding attempt?

I will write some more words about the decade, once I work out what to say, but here's the first summary for 2020.

Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th January

Greylags - 30
Mute Swan - 4
Gadwall - 10
Wigeon - 350
Mallard - 120
Teal - 270
Tufted Duck - 9
Grey Partridge - 2
Little Grebe - 1
Heron - 18
Little Egret - 5
Cormorant - 103 over Kelk, later 268 at Wansford
(The previous record of 66 completely trashed - what is going on with these birds? They clearly spend some time in Bridlington Bay. Are they feeding in the bay and moving to Wansford to chill out and roost, or are they feeding at fish farms and roosting in the bay? The sightings I have so far don't really confirm either. And if they are raiding fish farms, the loss of fish must be collosal)
Sparrowhawk - 1
Buzzard - 16
Coot - 4
Lapwing - 46
Woodcock - 1
Snipe - 3
Herring Gull - 34
Stock Dove - flock of 26
Barn Owl - 5
Kingfisher - 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 3
Kestrel - 11
Jay - 1
Coal Tit - 3
Fieldfare - 290 (in 5 flocks)
Redwing - 12
Mistle Thrush - 3
Tree Sparrow - 5
Chaffinch - flock of 40
Bullfinch - 7
Linnet - a flock of 120 is huge for winter

Fox - 1
Roe Deer - 14
Water Vole - 1 was the first for a long time

Some pics...

Buzzard on the lookout. Looking plump after Christmas.

89 of the 103 Cormorants that over-flew Kelk on Sunday. Bonkers!

Herons attending the heronry, stimulated no doubt by the relatively mild and calm weather.

Kestrel preening, or just showing off

Part of a huge flock of 120 Linnet, unusual for winter.

A solid total of 61 species recorded for the new year list.

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