Mon 7th Nov 2016.
Witham mouth Cut End.
Long-tailed duck. 17 of them on the sea, most I’ve ever seen. In small parties of up to seven. One group of five ventured up a fair way into the Welland. There has been a noticeable movement of this species in recent days down the East coast.
Little auk. 5. Two on the sea and three in from the wash that headed purposefully up the Welland.
Slavonian grebe. 3. Straight out, fairly close at times, one went into Welland. These could stay, there were a couple for most of last winter here.
Scaup. 2. Females.
Sandwich tern. A late record, first winter bird.
Also; Goldeneye,30. Great-crested grebe,25. Red-throated diver,11. Guillimot,2. Gannet, didn’t count them, but 80 at least, some N, some S. Eider,adult drake. Common scoter, one female close in, in front of hide and c.30, north. Red-breasted merganser,3 females. Peregrine. Merlin. Thousands of waders.
Iv’e noticed before that birds seem to prefer the Welland to the Witham. Perhaps to do with food availability. It is known that some birds use the well known Welland/Severn route to cross over the country.
Yesterday, 6th Nov.
I had an early little auk fly north and a couple of distant skuas (probably poms). Andy Sims and Ben Ward joined me soon after. Two long-tailed ducks, m+f flew south, fairly close in. It was a little disappointing considering the conditions with a brisk north wind and showers. Three more distant skuas, a few red-throated divers, about 75 common scoters and 50+ gannets were the best of it. Heavy rain set in, we retreated to cars and drank loads of coffee. We decided to pack in. Andy and Ben left, I was getting ready to go when it suddenly brightened up. There were about 30 gannets in the next few minutes along with 5 pomerine skuas, a lot closer than the earlier ones. It was as though birds had been held up in the rainy, misty murk. After that brief spell it soon came over stormy again so I headed for home.