A rugby disrupted weekend meant that my WeBs count (Fenham Flats) had to carried out on Monday 10th Nov. The count was not to disappoint and probably one of the largest November counts that I have carried out in 15 years. The first comment was that there was a huge number of birds. Wigeon number up to 10,500 and there were at least 1277 light-bellied brent. These waterfowl were accompanied by 997 shelduck, 5 shoveler, mallard, pintail (97), teal, long-tailed duck (1), great crested grebe (1), red-necked grebe (1), 136 eider, 12 goldeneye, 3 goosander and 6 red-breasted mergansers. Gate-crashers included two flights of whooper swans (32), 62 barnacle geese, pink-footed geese and 10 mute swans.
Exhausted after counting the above, there were grey plover (149), lapwing, curlew, dunlin (800), turnstone, oystercatcher, bar-tailed godwit, black-tailed godwit (7), knot and redshank (258). These was a huge flock of golden plover off Chare Ends on the Island.
The best of the rest include 8 little egrets, a female merlin and 25 twite.
A barn owl was seen late in the evening of the 11th Nov. at Mindrum Mill
A water rail ran over the A697 today (12th Nov) just south of my office at Haugh Head, Wooler. This was probably too far away to be counted on the office list that stands at 97 species.