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Page Contents :- Survey Report ............. Survey Results - River ............. Survey Results - Coast

Survey Report

Berwick Wildlife Group's Estuary and Seabird Survey, 2007.

Saturday 3rd was a stunning day for early February almost no wind, clear blue skies and a sun with real warmth, ideal for Berwick Wildlife Group's annual Estuary and Seabird count. The counters divided up into three parties to cover the upper and lower sections of the Estuary and the coast north of Berwick.

After logging the positions of swans and redshank by Pier Road (strictly in the Estuary, but invisible to the group counting from Sandstell point) the coastal party began their count at Little Beach. Here Pipits and Pied Wagtails had joined small waders to feed among the heaps of seaweed, and a flock of about 70 Sanderlings were running incessantly back and forth along the tideline, making counting hard. Further on another birdwatcher alerted the recorders to a group of Purple Sandpipers on the rocks. As the group walked north there were fewer waders at the tideline, but the excellent visibility allowed them to see Eiders, Goldeneye and a small party of Goosanders on the gently-swelling sea.

Those counting along the lower part of Estuary were not so lucky. There birds had been disturbed by jet-skis and power-boats, and a low total (142 birds) was recorded mostly Mallard, Mute Swan, Goldeneye and Eider. Above the Royal Border Bridge were large numbers of some species (800 Lapwings and 117 Redshank), moderate numbers of expected species like Mallard and Goldeneye, and some more unusual birds like Wigeon, Pink-footed Goose and Snipe. However as the power-craft moved upstream the 800 Lapwing on Yarrow Slake lifted off and the Goldeneye and other waterfowl were forced from their chosen feeding areas upstream beyond the A1 Bridge.

The Tweed Estuary is a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and holds nationally important numbers of waterbirds. Until the Estuary is properly zoned and suitable speed regulations are drawn up and enforced, the conditions for these birds can only deteriorate.

Berwick Wildlife Group's February indoor event (14th) is a talk on British Bats by Steve Betts of the Northumberland Bat Group, and on 14th March Philippa Mitchell of Red Alert North England will talk about Red Squirrels. The talks are held at 7.30 pm in the St Aidan's Room at Berwick United Reformed Church, Main Street, Spittal. Everyone is very welcome for a modest charge members 2.00, visitors 3.00.

Fiona, Berwick Wildlife Group, 09/02/07.

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©Berwick Wildlife Group. This page was last updated on February 12th 2006.