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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 11:42   #8976
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That was my concern too. I watched them for a while yesterday and I felt they were not finding a lot of food. They were ranging over a wide area and "snatched" but only very rarely - though I have no idea if that is the way avocets feed. Equally it could just mean they were in a hurry to replenish and move on because, as John has pointed out, once they'd been interrupted by a peregrine flyover they went to sleep.

Is there any data on invertebrate concentrations at the flashes and would it be worthwhile to check the water on Sunday? Not much we can do I suspect but might be of use for future reference?
Hi Paul
they started the process of surveying last year and want to continue this year. I think Dave understood the email we received from the trust re 'fly species' but I got lost in its translation.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 12:16   #8977
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There are a few more Avocets now starting to move. One was at Staines yesterday and two at Rutland Water today. Also one was at Welney on 21st rising to 13 on 27th, so hopefully far more to come.

It's interesting to note that the original nesting pair at Upton Warren in 2003 first visited Grimley the day before they arrived on the reserve. None have been seen at Grimley since!

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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 12:19   #8978
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Hi Paul
they started the process of surveying last year and want to continue this year. I think Dave understood the email we received from the trust re 'fly species' but I got lost in its translation.
Yes some interesting flys apparently but told we can't divulge any details about it on a public forum - I guess until the work is published in the scientific literature.

My own 'survey' revealed swarms of Daphnia (prob Daphnia magna) last year in the first flash when I was taking salinity samples. These are relatively large 'Water Fleas' (crustaceans) and I'm gessing would be a good meal for an Avocet. The concentration of them last summer was impressive - about 10 individuals per 50ml (200 per litre) would be my estimate. I posted a photo of them on this forum at the time.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 13:01   #8979
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Dave

I hear what you say and understand the divulgence (is that a word?) embargo, but the Trust themselves have positioned a very interesting précis of the findings thus far on a laminated A4 poster in the new Avocet hide... if people want to read for themselves.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 14:24   #8980
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Dave

I hear what you say and understand the divulgence (is that a word?) embargo, but the Trust themselves have positioned a very interesting précis of the findings thus far on a laminated A4 poster in the new Avocet hide... if people want to read for themselves.
OK Sy, maybe their position has changed. I'm just going by what Harry Green told us in an email. I'll have a look at the poster at the weekend and judge whether it contains the kind of detail we've been privy to. So far, I've only read stuff in the public domain which mentions the method of capture (malaise trap) and a few other details.

Just don't want to tread on anyones toes or steal their thunder, that's all.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 14:59   #8981
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Yes some interesting flys apparently but told we can't divulge any details about it on a public forum - I guess until the work is published in the scientific literature.

My own 'survey' revealed swarms of Daphnia (prob Daphnia magna) last year in the first flash when I was taking salinity samples. These are relatively large 'Water Fleas' (crustaceans) and I'm gessing would be a good meal for an Avocet. The concentration of them last summer was impressive - about 10 individuals per 50ml (200 per litre) would be my estimate. I posted a photo of them on this forum at the time.
Thanks Dave.

For me I'm afraid flies are only interesting if they bring interesting birds.

I think Daphnia is probably a good call for the Avocet menu (I didn't know they were tolerant to brackish waters so hadn't thought). Easy enough to monitor and, being "well-known" it's probably possible to encourage if necessary too so that's comforting.

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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 15:40   #8982
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Thanks Dave.

For me I'm afraid flies are only interesting if they bring interesting birds.

I think Daphnia is probably a good call for the Avocet menu (I didn't know they were tolerant to brackish waters so hadn't thought). Easy enough to monitor and, being "well-known" it's probably possible to encourage if necessary too so that's comforting.

Paul
Yeah, apparently some species are halophilic - I didn't know myself until I did a bit of digging after seeing them. A few other potentially interesting things to consider:

If the concentration in the flashes averaged 200 individuals per litre then the first and second flash might've contained an estimated 3.5 billion individuals. With an average dry mass of 0.3mg per individual then the total dry biomass could've been 1.05 tonnes. With an estimated 20% average fat content, this could provide nearly 2 million kilocalories. In addition, they reproduce very quickly via parthenogenesis.

Enough to sustain a few Avocets I reckon.

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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 16:08   #8983
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3 Oycs on the Moors this afternoon.

The wooden bench has disappeared from the concrete hide? Anyone know why please?

Rob
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 16:25   #8984
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I think I can vouch for the VWs in saying no, don't know - sorry, Rob.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 17:55   #8985
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Work party

Met-office are predicting an 80% chance of heavy rain for Sunday, but hopefully it will stay away, plus its still not accurate when we are 4 days away.

Jim
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 18:44   #8986
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Met-office are predicting an 80% chance of heavy rain for Sunday, but hopefully it will stay away, plus its still not accurate when we are 4 days away.

Jim
Hi Jim
Have been watching the met office site as well and another site which contradicts the other.
Either way we will have to do the work or at least try and complete it.
Priorities will be fox fence repair and attaching to the hide, screening around the hide, clearing islands and cutting the grass in front of the hide.
I am sure we will do it.
http://www.xcweather.co.uk/GB/forecast this site has Ledbury and West Bromwich drier than the met office for Sunday

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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 18:48   #8987
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I think I can vouch for the VWs in saying no, don't know - sorry, Rob.
Thanks Sy. A mystery!
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 18:53   #8988
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3 Oycs on the Moors this afternoon.

The wooden bench has disappeared from the concrete hide? Anyone know why please?

Rob
Rob, the geazers finishing off the board walk at the back of the feeding station hide may know something. I will email Andy.
John
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 19:19   #8989
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Today's highlights:

MOORS:
Pochard (15)---------------Shoveler (6)
Tufted Duck (46)----------Shelduck (1)
Little Grebe (2)------------G C Grebe (4)
Cormorant (25)------------Snipe (3)
Mute Swan (2)-------------Oystercatcher (2)

FLASHES:
Teal (c50)------------------Gadwall (pr)
Oystercatcher (2)----------Curlew (15)
Lapwing (39)---------------Mute Swan (4)
Little Grebe-----------------L Redpoll (5)
B H Gull (c600)

RIVER SALWARPE:
Treecreeper-----------------Goldcrest
Skylark over----------------Sparrowhawk

SAILING POOL:
Kingfisher-------------------G C Grebe (5)


Des.
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 19:35   #8990
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Hi Jim
Have been watching the met office site as well and another site which contradicts the other.
Either way we will have to do the work or at least try and complete it.
Priorities will be fox fence repair and attaching to the hide, screening around the hide, clearing islands and cutting the grass in front of the hide.
I am sure we will do it.
http://www.xcweather.co.uk/GB/forecast this site has Ledbury and West Bromwich drier than the met office for Sunday
Hi John,

It's very true you can never accurately estimate the weather till the day before. I will be down providing the rain isn't heavy and terrential. Look forward to seeing as Many of you as possible.

Jim
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 19:44   #8991
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Hi John,

It's very true you can never accurately estimate the weather till the day before. I will be down providing the rain isn't heavy and terrential. Look forward to seeing as Many of you as possible.

Jim
cheers Jim
the met forecast has already changed within the last 6 hours.
It is not looking as bad poss showers and sunny
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/...t_weather.html
This morning it was forecast for heavy rain john
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 19:56   #8992
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cheers Jim
the met forecast has already changed within the last 6 hours.
It is not looking as bad poss showers and sunny
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/...t_weather.html
This morning it was forecast for heavy rain john
Unbelievable isn't it, I Checked a few hours ago and like I said heavy rain it's now saying light rain and possible sun. Anyway looks more promising

Haven't had a chance to visit the new hide as I was in the forest of Dean looking for Goshawk (with success) last weekend. Looking forward to it after reading the feedback

Jim
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 21:10   #8993
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Rob, the geazers finishing off the board walk at the back of the feeding station hide may know something. I will email Andy.
John
Cheers John . I will have a mooch around if I go down tomorrow.

Rob
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 21:16   #8994
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Images from today. One showing Canadas displaying by head dipping together then mating in the second one. First time I've managed to catch this.

Rob
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Old Wednesday 29th February 2012, 22:01   #8995
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February saw a total of 81 species recorded, with the overall year list moving on to 89. In comparison Belvide are on 105 and Middleton Lakes 101.

New species to look out for in March include Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin, Sand Martin, Wheatear, Swallow, Brambling, Goldeneye, Red Kite, Stonechat and possibly Willow Warbler.

Before we get too wrapped up in Spring migrants, can folks remember to also post any late sightings of Fieldfare and Redwing.
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Old Thursday 1st March 2012, 05:34   #8996
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February saw a total of 81 species recorded, with the overall year list moving on to 89. In comparison Belvide are on 105 and Middleton Lakes 101.

New species to look out for in March include Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin, Sand Martin, Wheatear, Swallow, Brambling, Goldeneye, Red Kite, Stonechat and possibly Willow Warbler.

Before we get too wrapped up in Spring migrants, can folks remember to also post any late sightings of Fieldfare and Redwing.
Sand Martins already in Sussex.
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Old Thursday 1st March 2012, 08:51   #8997
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Phil's February birding review now online here.

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Old Thursday 1st March 2012, 10:17   #8998
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Yeah, apparently some species are halophilic - I didn't know myself until I did a bit of digging after seeing them. A few other potentially interesting things to consider:

If the concentration in the flashes averaged 200 individuals per litre then the first and second flash might've contained an estimated 3.5 billion individuals. With an average dry mass of 0.3mg per individual then the total dry biomass could've been 1.05 tonnes. With an estimated 20% average fat content, this could provide nearly 2 million kilocalories. In addition, they reproduce very quickly via parthenogenesis.

Enough to sustain a few Avocets I reckon.
I'm sure you're right and I checked with the RSPB and the prey species is actually quite wide and will even include seeds and plant material. For all you other informaniacs out there here are the full details:

Prey species for Avocets include crustaceans such as Palaemonetes, Gammarus, Daphnia, Erichthonius, Neomysis, Corophium, Artemia, Branchonecta, Idotea, copepods, ostracods and cladocerans. Insect prey includes: adults, pupae and larvae of flies (Diptera) and beetles (Coleoptera). Flies include Ephydridae, Dolichopodidae, Chironomidae, Culicidae and Tilpulidae. Beetles include: Dytiscidae, Hydrophilidae, HalipIidae and Staphylinidae.

Other insects recorded include: water-bugs and nymphs of stoneflies. They will also east tubificid and polycheate worms as well as small fish such as Pomatoschistus microps, seeds and other available plant materials.

In breeding areas, Diptera and Coleoptera, polycheate worms and small crustaceans make up the bulk of prey species.


My thanks to Mrs Thomas for taking the time to get me the info.

Given that it would appear the flashes should have plenty of food from that extensive menu, I'd guess that these early Avocets are en route to other locations.

(Which also means, obviously, that UW is of vital, national importance and should have loads of money invested into it )

Paul
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Old Thursday 1st March 2012, 11:28   #8999
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Old Thursday 1st March 2012, 11:41   #9000
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Avocet x1 just reported to me on the Flashes. Dead owl on the corner of the Moors carpark. Under the sign. Tawny I think.

Rob
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