Black-faced Spoonbill and Common Pochard, Cheting, December 16th

High winds this morning made birding difficult. Passerines were staying deep in the reeds and bushes, and it was challenging to keep the telescope steady enough to observe more distant birds. Nonetheless, there was still plenty to be seen today – although no really unusual species were found.

The theme of the day was high counts of some of the area’s winter specialities, notably 143 Black-faced Spoonbills, 180 Avocets, and 42 Common Pochard. The first two species were mostly on the lagoon behind Cheting village, at the far western end of the marshes, where the concentration of birds (including many egrets, ducks, and about 300 Black-winged Stilts) was nothing short of spectacular.

The majority of the Common Pochard flock was on the eastern lake, visible from a very windy viewing tower. Also noteworthy among 45 species seen today: 3 Garganey, a Green Sandpiper at fishponds to the east of the main marsh, a flock of Red-necked Stints flying over, two Common Kestrels together, and at least 15 Red-throated Pipits and 25 Eastern Yellow Wagtails.

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