At the lagoons this evening the Starling roost attracted about 6,000 birds. One Sparrowhawk was seen trying to snatch a late supper and two Barn Owls were seen flying along the Boundary Hedge. Several thousand geese also came in to roost on the Slurry Lagoon. Earlier lots of winter thrushes were seen, including Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds, a Woodcock was seen and the Bearded Tits were heard calling in the reed bed. PS.
As the light dimmed, at about 16.15, the Starlings began to arrive to roost. A group of about 1,000 formed and did an aerial display, then decided to have a mass bathe amongst the gull roost. Another group of about 1,000 arrived and then both groups amalgamated and smoked into the reed bed. Then lots of smaller groups of fifty to 200 birds arrived, mostly from the east and dived spectacularly into the reed beds to join the others. This carried on for about thirty minutes until I estimated about 4,500 birds were in the roost. Whilst this was happening there were echelons of Grey-lag and Canada Geese arriving to roost on the Large Gravel Pit and the numbers grew to about 1,200 Grey-lag and about 800 Canadas. On the Slurry Lagoon the gull roost reached in excess of 1,000 birds but the light did not make counting them practical. A Water Rail flew across the gap in the reed beds in front of the bench and the Cetti’s was in good voice. PS.
The Willow Tit and eight Redpoll were seen along the Lower Path this morning and one or two Siskins are still flying through. All three Cetti’s were heard singing, so let’s hope they all survive the winter. A Peregrine flew over the site putting everything to flight and landed on a pylon. Two Golden Plover were seen flying around the site before departing north and a Snipe went up while 300 Lapwing eventually settled down on the Slurry Lagoon again. The goose flock on the Severn Trent land also went up and the Rossi’s Goose was spotted amongst them again. PS.