Roosting gulls at the Old Lake, Tata

Winter is knocking at the door. While quite a few fall migrants can still be seen, winter visitors are arriving in growing numbers. I spent the whole afternoon at the northern and eastern side of Old Lake, Tata and looked for late migrants and waterbirds arriving to the lake for night roosting.

At the lake I saw the very first flock of Tundra Bean Geese which was flying to NE silently. Their number will reach its peak just before the end of the year.

The waterbird and some interesting counts from today:

Taiga Bean-Goose 10
Mallard 145 – growing numbers day-by-day
Eurasian Teal 2
Great Cormorant 39
Grey Heron 5


Adult winter Black-headed Gull. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Black-headed Gull 650
Yellow-legged Gull 310
Great Spotted Woodpecker 4
Black Woodpecker 1
Green Woodpecker 1
Eurasian Jackdaw 10
Rook 45 – I could not wait for the roosting birds coming but saw 1,900 yesterday while hoovering over the roosting forest.
Barn Swallow 4 – yesterday a flock of 160 birds arrived to the lake late in the afternoon
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Black Redstart 2
White Wagtail (alba) 35 – one migrating flock just at the sunset

The lake is emptying now for fishing and will be half drained for the whole winter. Central mud island, which is a favourite roosting spot for the wintering geese, should be visible in a few days. That will attract more birds so I guess the number of wild geese should boom to 2,000 within 10-14 days. It also depends how many birds will chose the fishponds which is just 6 kms away (north) from the Old Lake.


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