Friday, 27 April 2012

Exminster marshes

Lots of water but not as deep as predicted; some cars are getting through the flood on Station Road. Unfortunately the swan's nest next to the road, with 7 eggs, was washed away in the night. James Diamond and I  counted the whimbrel at high tide - two or three flocks totalling 305 birds. Still impressive but not as much as the counts earlier in the week.

The main drama was a female peregrine that took a female gadwall on the water. She tried to drown the duck and then swam, using her wings, to the bank. The duck was still alive as she began to pluck it. A few minutes later the peregrine flew onto a post to dry out. Later still we could find no trace of the duck just a pile of feathers. Did the duck escape?

Elsewhere 3 wheatear, 2 bullfinches, 5 tufted ducks, 10 wigeon, 5 (-1?) gadwall and lots of swifts.