Right guys, HELLO!!
My first post from Caerlaverock so here goes….right migration…
Well where to start!
The Barnacle Geese numbers here have been growing over the last few weeks with numbers on the reserve reaching a high of 13,800. I know your all thinking “how do you count all them” well simple…. you take them in 10′s. You then carefully work your way around as many fields as you can until the all fly and you curse loudly (but not in public ), and then start counting all over again.
Numbers on a daily basis remain around 8,000 with lots of the birds feeding in fields just of the reserve throughout the day but then, come dusk, the big flight begins as they all head back onto the salt marsh to roost for the night. I would really recommend coming on one of our early morning or late night flights just to experience it!!
I’m sure you are all also wondering about our Whooper Swans – well they are being a bit of a pain in the bum at the moment to be honest.
Around the local area there are quite a few stubble fields and with the rush to get the crop cut in the short window of nice weather we had up here in bonny Scotland, a lot of grain was spilt. This has led to the Whooper Swans only roosting here on the Folly Pond overnight and then heading off to the nearby stubble fields to fill up on lovely grain and not our grain we throw out for them at feed times.
I do think shortly though our birds will start coming in for the feeds. On a recent count of the local area Whooper Swan numbers were around 160, so we still have more to arrive.
The other wildfowl here at Caerlaverock are building up their numbers nicely.
Wigeon numbers are almost past 1000 here and Teal numbers are at around 1200. All these birds are spread all over our reserve with some of the best viewing to be had on the Folly Pond, Flood Ground and Newfield Hide.
We do however, expect though some little American visitors again this winter. Almost annually we have American Green-winged Teal which looks similar to the Common Teal however, it is distinguished from drake Common Teals by having a vertical white stripe along up the breast and not the horizontal white stripe which Common Teal show.
The waders here at Caerlaverock are also starting to build. We are so lucky to have the Solway on our doorstep and come high tide you can expect to see thousand, and I really mean thousands, of waders lifting off the mud as it gets covered over by the tide.
Over the coming months you can expect to see up to 30,000 Dunlin, 10,000 Knot, 10,000 Oystercatchers not to mention Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and Curlew. Who wouldn’t want to see that!!?
With all the birds coming in you can sometimes forget about the birds still with us. We still have Swallow, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff here at Caerlaverock all of which really should be heading south by now and only last week we have a House Martin drifting about.
For now I will leave you in peace but keep reading and will try and let you know what’s changing here at Caerlaverock.