03 May 2010

Herds of Whimbrel in the Burry Inlet

Over the last week or so I have seen up to 270 Whimbrel between Penclawdd and Wernffrwd, most being found in small 'herds' like the one below photographed at Penclawdd on the 29th April (looking across to Machynys, Llanelli). Today on the north shore of the Burry there was a 'mega-herd' of 387 seen by Bernie Beck at Burry Port / Pwll.
The largest number ever recorded in our area was in Swansea Bay on 28 Apr 2003 when Bob Howells counted a staggering 840 on the afternoon tide. It is possible that more than 1300 birds moved through the bay that day as I saw 468 there in the morning, the bulk of which flew off west around Mumbles Head before mid-day.
NB. I am not sure if there is an official collective noun for Whimbrel but 'herd' is the official term for Curlew. I'm sure there must be a more appropriate term out there for Whimbrel ... a whirl comes to mind!


Anonymous said...

Barry, its Bernie, the Whimbrel where at Pwll,not P.Talbot. whirl is good if birds in flight.

Barry Stewart said...

Thanks for the correction - at least I got the Port bit correct!