Today’s post is a quick note to share our experience this evening.
This afternoon at about 1430hrs Fetsus, one of my team mates alerted us of flooding in the easternmost section of Bunyala Rice Irrigation Scheme. Not only did this turn out to be an excellent application of recently acquired knowledge by the scout but that the learned knowledge was true. In summary the principle is that we expect more birds at first flooding just when the farmlands are being readied for ploughing and planting. In deed between 1630 hrs – 1730 hrs we counted about 1100 waders, mostly Ruffs and Wood Sandpipers. I think these were new arrivals given closer distant of approach with the birds paying more attention to gorging on insects and worms than fleeing away from us. Old birds have been observed to be progressively suspicious with lrager distances of close approach. Below are some random images from the surveyed eastern section.
Flooded eastern section of the rice plantation
Wood Sandpipers dotting a section of the flooded plots
A flock of foraging Ruffs
A mixed species flock of Ruffs & Wood Sandpipers
Some migrant species that have arrived at Bunyala
Most of these species have been poisoned in the past. None has been poisoned since the vigilance strategy commenced.
More updates to follow soon.