Friday, 23 July 2010

23 July 2010

A much better morning weather wise and not bad on the birding front as well, felt much cooler than the 16c the Steelite clock was saying, it was dry with no overnight rain, very heavy cloud coverage and no wind at all, the main lake was like a millpond.

So far July has been a cracking month, considering it's normally one of the quietest of the year I think between us all we have added about 5 species to the Westport year list, which is quite incredible for this time of year, the latest addition came this morning as I was counting the Mute Swans I noticed 4 very pale large ducks at the top left side of the main lake after taking a second glance I realised they were Ruddy Shelduck and not only that but a family party of 2 adults and 2 1st year birds, I noticed Nick at the top of the lake and rung him, he picked them up and noticed that one of the adults was a hybrid bird, they were quite wary and after spending about 20 minutes in the middle of the lake they took off and headed of north.

As always when we have something unusual at Westport, the rest of the morning was a bit quiet as we had to rush around a bit as Nick has to leave at 07.30 to get to work, but one or two things were noticed as follows, the Canada Geese flock still has a hybrid CanadaxGreylag, Great Crested Grebes totalled the usual 4 on the main lake and 10 on the main lake which included 3 juveniles, the eclipse male Shoveler was on the boating lake, a Common Sandpiper was picked up on the boating ramp on the main lake, a count of 62 Tufted Ducks was just short of last weeks highest total of 65, also 3 Pochard were in the middle of them, 4 Chiffchaffs were around the park but I think this was much higher in truth, Mute Swans totalled 34 as usual, this has remained the same for nearly 3 months now give or take the odd bird, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew over all heading south, Reed Warblers were on the top pool with a few Bullfinches and Coal Tit, on the gas works a single Stock Dove, back on the main lake singles Sand Martin and House Martin and in the trees on the canal side of the main lake a single Treecreeper.

The above photo's are of the Ruddy Shelduck, sorry about how bad it is but the light was terrible and the camera shake light was flashing, but it's a record shot (Just about), the other photo is of a dead Stoat which was found on the old sewage works.


  1. Hi Chris

    That's a dead Weasel you have there, rather than a Stoat. A Stoat would have a longer tail with a black tip.

    As they say, it's Weaselly done, but Stoatally obvious! :o)


  2. Thanks Richard, I'd been told that laqter that day but I've forgot to edit the post, Nick and myself weren't sure but someone at Westport told us it was a Stoat, since which everyone has told us otherwise, thanks anyway mate.


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