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11 Oct 2018

Reserve Update Thursday 11th October – 18,000 Barnacle Geese!

Peak Barnacle Goose counts yesterday of around 18,000 birds utilising the reserve!  This could be due to the recent high tides pushing birds off other feeding areas.  These geese remain very jumpy having just returned to the area and are in need of disturbance free feeding areas to stock back up on the resources they used to fly down here.  There have been a couple of instances of geese getting spooked either by over flying light aircraft or by visitors entering areas of Merse that are not part of the open reserve.  While it is a truly spectacular sight when thousands of Barnacle Geese fill the sky we would ask people to be considerate of the reason that the reserve was established here in the first place.

The otter was again on Whooper Pond this morning.  Mute Swan  numbers are on the increase but our resident pair remain determined that they should not settle on the pond.  We had twenty Whooper Swans in for both feeds yesterday but the larger numbers remain elusive.  It was a good high tide yesterday down at the Saltcot with plenty of birds present, unfortunately the bright light did make them rather difficult to identify!  Wheeling flocks of Golden Plover were making a spectacular show no doubt flushed by the male Hen harrier which was seen later in the day.

Named Whooper Swan arrivals:

YHS – Solway Siren
Lost Darvic – Hagar
YJL – Linda H
YSJ – Sheldon Whooper

Today’s high tide is at 14:28, 9.7m

Around the reserve:

Whooper Pond
Whooper Swans 6
Mute Swan 11 adults 6 cygnets
Canada Goose 3
Greylag Goose 12
Mallard 187
Teal 2
Wigeon 11
Moorhen 4
Little Grebe 1
Cormorant 1

Folly Pond
Mallard 10
Teal 400
Wigeon 63
Shoveler 22
Greylag Goose 1
Black-tailed Godwit 6
Snipe 1

Teal Pond
Shoveler 3
Moorhen 4
Mallard 13

Avenue Tower
Mallard
Teal
Shoveler
Wigeon
Gadwall
Pintail
Curlew
Mute Swan
Barnacle Geese
Longhorn Cattle 2

Saltcot Merse Observatory
Pink-footed Geese
Barnacle Geese
Greylag Geese
Canada Geese
Peregrine
Merlin
Hen Harrier
Buzzard
Mute Swan
Shelduck
Mallard
Lapwing
Oystercatcher
Curlew
Little Egret
Great Black-backed Gull
Black-headed Gull
Common Gull
Herring Gull
Hebridean Sheep 9

Avenues & Feeders
(notable species)
Reed Bunting
Sparrowhawk
Coal Tit
Long-tailed Tit
Goldfinch
Greenfinch
House Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
Treecreeper
Great-spotted Woodpecker
Goldcrest

Webcam

The winter webcam is now showing the Whooper Pond during the day and the badger feeding area from 5pm onwards.

https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/caerlaverock/experience/webcam/

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rhiannon.hatfield@wwt.org.uk