Friday 10 March 2023

LORP continues to impress

The Lower Otter Restoration Project (LORP) work is coming to an end this year and the creation of new habitat is getting more exciting by the day. Just in the last few days I have seen 10 Water Pipits, 6 Avocets and best of all a lovely drake Garganey today (9th March)!

The site seems to be continually breaking records with numbers of species that I have never seen in 13 years of birding the site. Thanks to a call from the local Ecologist Mark Wills, I managed to see the 6 Avocets yesterday evening. A very scarce bird here and my previous high count was just 2 birds. Earlier in the winter, (Jan) I recorded over 90 Black-tailed Godwits when previously a count of up to 10 birds was unusual! The site has always been good for Water Pipits and it is now the 4th consecutive winter period that I’ve recorded double figures with peak counts in December and March. However, finding today’s Garganey was a real treat as the last bird I saw here was as far back as September 2013, a female/imm bird I found on the estuary. The only other birds I’ve seen here were in March 2010, a drake found by Clive, followed by 2 females the next day. 

Other notable birds for the site over the last few days have included 2 Green Sandpipers (never regular previously), a drake Gadwall (very scarce), a pair of Pintail and Greenshank.

I am very much looking forward to what else this new habitat brings…….

Drake Garganey and Teal

Six Avocets. A record count for the Otter
Drake Garganey and Teal

Nine Black-tailed Godwits

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