Eden Estuary News

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Welcome to the February issue of the Eden Estuary News.


Well we are well into 2017 now and winter has still only made brief visits. Over on the east we have seen little rain and some mild days interspersed with some very cold ones. The winter assemblages have been in evidence with waxwings noted locally, Whoopers in the fields and geese numbers building on last years end. Here is January’s highlights:

Geese: Pinkfooted numbers picked up since new year and have stabilised somewhat. Most nights are seeing between 1000-2500 roosting with peaks of 3000 on 20th and 3310 on 24th. 25 LB Bent in Balgove and the fields on 15th.

Outhead: Our Stonechat population were out in good force on 7th with 6 noted.

Coble Pools: A large group of 18 Grey Partridge on 15th.

WeBS (Estuary Count) 12th: Good species and numbers again this month. 19 Whooper swan, 320 Shelduck, 209 Wigeon, 46 Mallard, 47 Teal, 12 Goldeneye, 2 Gadwall and a great count of 146 Pintail.

Wader wise, numbers have been good however on the WeBS a high tide pinned back numbers with 132 Lapwing, 141 Dunlin, 22 Black tailed Godwit, 455 Curlew, 122 Redshank and a single Greenshank.

WeBS (St Andrews Bay) 14th: Some great records came in out in the bay with 2019 Common Scoter, 5 Velvet Scoter and a single Surf Scoter. 23 Long tailed duck, 2 Red throated Diver, 5 GC Grebe and 31 Purple Sandpiper. Also a superb count of 97 Scaup. (thanks Les Hatton).

Links trust Courses: 4 Mistle Thrush and a Redwing by the Evans hide on 15th.

Sea eagle:  Recorded 6 days out of 31 with 2 present on 4thand 19th.

Eden Centre: Little Grebe featuring again with birds all month and 5 on 24th. Little Egret appearing on 4 days with 2 noted on 3rd. Goldeneye noted in low numbers all month and a lovely single Merlin on 18th. 500 lapwing recorded on 9th and 1450 Knot on 23rd. A peak of 78 Black tailed Godwit on 19th and a lonely Turnstone on the same day. Good records of Sparrowhawk, GS Woodpecker and Collared Dove this month.
A nice wee group of Bullfinch noted on a few days by the centre. Lovely stuff.
Bird of the month


Surf Scoter

Not the most handsome of birds however you would be well pleased to see it! A scarce winter visitor to Fife and not in any great number. Our Peak count was 6 in Nov 95. The smallest of the Scoter species which makes it even harder to spot amongst other Scoters. Add to that the distance they can be off shore and some wave action, it is not for the faint hearted birder. 1 spotted in St Andrews bay on 14th Jan. Well done Les!
Eden Centre

Winter Opening Hours 9am-4pm (Nov-Mar)
Reserve News

Bird Records: Please put all the birds you observed in the log book provided.    Thank you.
Centre Car Park: It has been noted lately that non centre users are parking here regularly. This is due to local issues outwith our control, however we are trying to improve this.
Wildfowling season: Ends 20th February.
Coble Pools: The pools are now full again, please note there are cattle present within the pools area.
Bernard Barker

In December our friend and long- time supporter of the reserve Bernard passed away suddenly. Our thoughts have been with Hilary and family during a very difficult time.

Many of you may not recognise his name however Bernard has been involved with the reserve since it began and years before. He had the vision to see this was a special place and one requiring protection. Right up until he passed away he supported the reserve in advising on management in his role on the Advisory Group and had been a vital and effective advocate for the Eden.

He will be very sorely missed.

Ranald Strachan

Date : 17 February

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