Good times for ducks

Conwy

Conwy
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Good times for ducks

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Will it ever stop raining? The last 24-hour period we had without rain was 11 November, and today has been another day of wind and rain. It doesn't encourage you to get out and see wildlife, so well done to those who have donned their waterproofs and gone for a walk. On the upside, the weather has put almost 50cm of water into the lagoons over the last few weeks, and the teals, gadwalls and mallards appreciate that, with many more feeding in the Shallow Lagoon.  The rising water levels have brought more snipe out of the reed edges into full view.  There is still a way to go until the lagoons are full - we could do with another 40cm before next March, but let's hope that doesn't all fall before Christmas...

The short days and wet weather means this is a short blog update. A Cetti's warbler was singing along the Ganol Trail on Thursday (10th), a water pipit was heard over the paddocks and eventually photographed on the saltmarsh, and a woodcock was flushed from a pathside ditch towards the end of the day.  Choughs have been seen regularly recently, always flying in the same direction south in the mornings.  On Wednesday (9th), five firecrests were seen around the trails and half a dozen pink-footed geese flew upriver calling, a rare bird here.

Three black-tailed godwits are here, along with a flock of 70+ lapwings, a few dunlins are seen at high tide and a greenshank was a nice find on Wednesday 2nd, using the new channels and bays created near Benarth Hide in September. Water rails have been seen or heard in several locations, while siskins are regular around the wildlife garden. On the lagoons, there are a few pochards and goldeneyes, a couple of goosanders dropped in among the regular mergansers on 1st, and three whooper swans flew over on Thursday 3rd, but didn't stop.

We have given the islands their annual 'haircut', hopefully making them attractive to waders nesting here next Spring. Spring, just think about that for a second: warm days, butterflies, arriving migrants. When you look outside and see rain, remember that the first sand martins and wheatears will be arriving in just 12 weeks.

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