Thursday, 7 January 2016

Tetney Marshes

Today on the marsh, a ringtail (probably juvenile) hen harrier was worrying the waders and was briefly mobbed by a short-eared owl. No sign of yesterdays black brant, but brent goose numbers were down to about 500 today. The adult pale-bellied brent was still in the flock, and I also picked out two juvenile pale-bellied birds. 

Back in November I visited this coastline and commented then on the fairly recent habit of brent geese feeding on winter wheat when supplies of their favoured food, eel grass, have been exhausted. At the time I had seen just nine birds on fields adjacent to Tetney Marshes and the majority of the brents where still feeding on the saltmarsh. Not so today or yesterday, with the whole flock now on the winter wheat.

While I was walking along the sea wall, a juvenile little gull flew from the fields, right past me and away over the marsh. On the shore I picked up a few more year ticks, including grey plover, sanderling, bar-tailed godwit and knot.

Year: 97 (hen harrier, short-eared owl, little gull etc.)

Spot the pale-bellied brent!

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