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GUEST BLOG: News from the Severn Vale Nature Reserves

Posted: Friday 16th January 2015 by Community

30th December 2014: The spectacle continues, as the water levels have barely dropped: this morning, all the floodwater was iced over, except for places where there were large concentrations of ducks and geese. So, at Coombe Hill there was a mass of birds around quite a large hole in the ice, with everything in view. They were so bunched together it made counting them difficult.

Duck numbers were about the same as in recent weeks, only pintail seemed to have decreased a little (though may have moved over to the Leigh / Cobney Meadows). Teal were more visible than usual as they normally disappear under the vegetation, but today were all out in the open: I don’t remember seeing such numbers at Coombe Hill before!

Coombe Hill Count:

9 mute swans & 2 wild swans, almost certainly whoopers (flew over, calling, and circled as though they were going to land, but didn’t); 50 greylags (flying out to feed, probably some had left before we arrived); 360+ canada geese (as for greylags, some had probably left already); 11 shelducks (showing lekking actively); 2000 wigeon, 2200 teal, 16 gadwall, 181 mallard, 65 pintail, 18 shoveler, 7 tufted, 1 grey heron, 1 cormorant, 1 water rail, 27 coot, 1 golden plover (over to south, calling), 160 lapwings, 9 dunlin, 2 snipe, 6 meadow pipits, and 350 fieldfares (all on one field!).

Leigh/Cobney Meadows Count:

There was less ice so there were large numbers of ducks (of the order of 2000) on floodwater; not clear if they were birds that had moved from Coombe Hill, or were separate, too far off to count accurately, but contained large numbers of wigeon and teal. 

Ashleworth Ham Count:

Viewed from where the hedge was being cut, allowing better view from the hides. It was largely iced over, except where birds had kept water open: 6 Mute Swans, 200 Canada Geese and 200 Teal

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