Waterbird numbers

To: "" <>
Subject: Waterbird numbers
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 23:01:07 +0000

I must begin by apologising for being a terrible recorder.  No lists, no diaries, just my memory and a few hard drives of photos.  Plus a few years of woodland surveying, 2 attempts at GBS reporting and the odd Blitz excursion.  I somehow feel my very random observing, sometimes lazy, sometimes energetic, might somehow distort the overall picture. No regular sustained methodical ticking like Alastair, at whose extraordinary contributions I can only marvel.


I also admire Jack’s summaries in Gang-gang that seek to find some seasonal and year to year pattern in what gets reported. In relation to influx of waterbirds he mentions in the March Gang-gang recent reports of max 3 juv night-herons at Jerra (with a paucity of adults) and a max 8 of Intermediate Egrets there also.


My view is that congregations of night herons at Jerra is not at all unusual in summer when the water level is suitable.   2011, 2012 and 2014 were all big years, with a remarkable COUNTED gathering of 17 in view in 2012, certainly including more than 3 young birds.  You would need to be there early, before the light is adequate for photography.


I feel even more guilty about the egrets.  In 2017 mid-Feb (15th for example) there were a lot of egrets at Jerra early morning. I counted 20 and Kym mentioned 22 to me.  There was one, possibly 2, Greats, one Little, and the rest were Intermediates – at least 17, probably young birds I’d think, no breeding colour like the 3 there a couple of weeks earlier.  Nearly all those egrets had moved on by 8am.

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