Sunday, 18 April 2010

Whimbrels at the Brockholes Wetlands roost, Lancashire

mid-late April 2010:
As Whimbrels migrate from their African wintering grounds to northern Europe, Brockholes Wetlands is an important stopping-off and roosting site. This year, the first bird was reported on April 12th and numbers are now building up quickly (see the panel on the upper left for a periodic count).

In fading light they arrive in ones and twos soon to be followed by larger flocks after which numbers fall off rapidly. On arrival in the shallows, there's commotion for a while as they drink, wash and preen before eventually settling down to sleep. Day-time is spent feeding in nearby fields before, having rested for a few days, they continue their migration northwards. Numbers usually peak by the end of the month and by early May all are gone.

All these photos were taken this week but the poor light in which the birds arrive doesn't help photography.

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