Friday, 24 April 2015

You Quack Me Up!

This week marked the first of our drake surveys and to maintain my professional integrity I’m going to keep away from any duck-based puns, besides they are not all they're quacked up to be!

Shoveler are unmistakable thanks to their large spatula bills.

The grazing marsh at Holkham is an important habitat for nesting wildfowl, especially ducks. The tufty vegetation of shallow ponds really fits the bill for nesting Mallards, Teal and Gadwall. 

Shoveler have been seen working together in groups while
 feeding on the reserve.They rotate, stirring up the water and 
skimming the surface for crustaceans and plankton. 
As we set off across the fields from Lady Anne’s Drive the foul weather set in but rather than wader till it passed we decided to wing it.  We were initially worried after only finding a poultry number of breeding pairs. Things quickly picked up however and in total we counted 209 Mallard, 132 Teal, 76 Shoveler, 61 Gadwall, 32 Tufted duck, 28 Wigeon, 27 Pochard and a lonely Gargany on Holkham NNR. While Ei-der preferred to have seen some Pintails the survey went swimmingly! I’m sure you’re all a-grebe, that’s quite the duck count! Things are looking good for the duck population this year.

Right I’m done. I'm going to swan out of here!


Holkham Warden