Monday, 9 July 2012

Why so many waders in July?

I had an interesting afternoon kayaking up the River Hamble, and have to say I was surprised by the number, and variety of wading bird species present. In a four hour session I saw five Common Sandpipers, seven Dunlin, two Common Greenshank, three Curlew, two Whimbrel, seven Oystercatchers and 17 Lapwing. OK I know not massive numbers, but for the River Hamble in early July this is very unusual.

So whats that all about?

I know that both Oystercatcher and Lapwing breed locally, and Curlew numbers have been building up over the last few weeks, but to have Common Sands, Dunlin, Greenshank and Whimbrel back so early is crazy. I had heard from a friend that Black-tailed Godwits have had a bad breeding season in Iceland, but it would also appear that may other arctic breeding species have too...or did they just breed early and are now returning. Hopefully the autumn ringing will shed some light!

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