Midwinter Waterbird Counts 2009/2010

This was the only sunny day we have had for weeks. Excellent timing for the annual Midwinter Waterbird Census. As usual in every mid-week-end of January most of the European birdwatchers count wildfowl (waterbirds). In some countries this is also the time to count the White-tailed Eagles as well.

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Greater White-fronted Geese. © Gyorgy Szimuly

This morning I walked to the observation tower of the Old Lake where my friend was already counting. On the way to the tower I found a Carrion Crow feeding on something on the ice.

The crisp light condition provided excellent view on the waterbirds. Every bird was painted deep gold and was just a joy to see them through Laci’s scope. Despite most of the lake has been frozen for weeks more than 21 thousands waterbirds were counted. Additionally 10+ thousands Corvids (Rooks and Westerna Jackdaws) left the night roosting site just before I arrived to the tower.

Here is the result of the counts:
Bean Goose species 5,800
Greater White-fronted Goose 8,800
Greylag Goose 80
Red-breasted Goose 1
Mallard 2,900
Eurasian Teal 90
Common Pochard 22
Common Goldeneye 24
Great Cormorant 495
Grey Heron 2
Great Egret 18
Eurasian Coot 2
Black-headed Gull 2,300
Mew Gull 700
Caspian Gull 500
Carrion Crow 1

Total number of wildfowl is about 21,700.

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