Friday, 18 May 2012

18th of May: Shelduck Count

One of the most striking bird species that breed on Blakeney Point is the Shelduck. Falling somewhere between a duck and a goose, they look black and white from a distance but closer inspection reveals a smart glossy green and brown plumage, topped off with a plasticine-like red bill. They nest here in good numbers every year, using old rabbit burrows in the sand dunes. They seem to like congregating in the dune slacks early in the morning, which makes it relatively easy to get an idea of the numbers present, and thus estimate the breeding population. This morning we conducted the first coordinated count of the season, with wardens and a local volunteer we recorded 110 birds over the length of the point. This was a little lower than expected. compared to some casual counts from recent weeks, so we will be doing more counts soon in the hope of getting a higher, and more accurate figure.

Joe Cockram

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