The Crook of Baldoon passed quietly into 2019 having several lovely weather days through the holiday period. We did get 8 people for our Boxing day walk but sadly only 2 on the 2nd of Jan. Still we did get some great views of a male hen harrier floating along the edge of the saltmarsh with the muds of the bay. Goose numbers were good through Christmas but as usual the second week of January has seen a great increase in numbers with just short of 6000 Pink footed geese seen on the 17th on the other hand the numbers of visiting Barnacles have dropped away. Lagoons 1 and 5 have seen an increase in duck with teal being the most numerous. Pintail numbers have increased a bit as have shoveler with a female being seen yesterday and a male giving close escort fingers crossed for baby shoveler’ s again this year and perhaps even pintail.
The little egrets have started to use lagoon 1 as a roost spot with a group of 4 using the shallow margin on the 16th.
A couple of birds have been noticeable by their absence with no sightings of the peregrine or Buzzard since early December and no merlin since November. However, there are still lots of waders including Dunlin, Golden Plover, Curlew around and Shelduck sieving the muds in the bay.
Only the 18th of January and the Lapwing are starting to display and hold territory on the islands in lagoon 5 another three 3 weeks and the islands in lagoon 1 and 5 shall have to be strimmed ready for the start of breeding season in March. Redshank numbers are building out on the saltmarsh with some great aerobatic displays of small flocks chasing low over the creeks making there typical flight calls.
Another increasingly common call heard on the Crook is the slow gruff croak of the Raven the first to breed they will fall quiet soon once the nesting has started this will change into what might be called an odd assortment of knocking and clucking sounds with an occasional klong the first time I heard these sounds in the pine plantation at Torrs Warren NX16 55 I was quite mystified at the time as to the origin of these sounds.
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