Severn Hams

Severn Hams (8 January 2011, contributed by Mike Smart and Les Brown)

Coombe Hill is now back to top form today, a real wildlife spectacle: water is rising in the Long Pool as the Parish Drain back-floods and the scrapes are now full. Excellent views from Grundon Hide. An unusual situation this winter, as by now there would normally have been a flood and the grass would have been sodden and unpalatable; but his autumn has been very dry with no flooding and there is plenty of short fresh unflooded grass, so the Wigeon are having a field day, the more so as they must be pretty hungry after the freeze-up in November/December. About 1300 Wigeon moving off the scrapes to graze on nearby grassland, with just over 300 Teal keeping them company, plus five Pintail and a couple of male Shelducks, not to mention about 190 Lapwings. Good numbers of geese – about 240 Canada Geese and 130 Greylags (at least eight with metal rings and one with a darvic ring already read earlier this winter. A single immature Whitefront with the Greylags, clearly ill at ease and being chased off by the Greylags, so probably a wild bird. About 7 Gadwall and 5 Shoveler on the Long Pool. Two Roe Deer on the meadows, taking refuge in the withy bed.

At Ashleworth too, the water is still rising: about 88 Teal, 17 Gadwall, six Pintail, 80 Wigeon.

At Minsterworth, the three Whoopers were still feeding in the very green field by the A48 with three Mutes.

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