Scoter around Camarthen Bay

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Common Scoter sea ducks came in their droves to Carmarthen Bay this winter, smashing previously recorded numbers. There are usually around 20,000 birds in the Bay but this winter it was an astonishing 43,000!

The numbers, revealed by the Countryside Council for Wales, were recorded as part of the Countryside Council for Wales' programme of work to monitor wildlife in marine areas of European importance for wildlife.

Dr Bill Sanderson, CCW Marine Monitoring Ecologist said: "It has been a remarkable year for Common Scoter in Carmarthen Bay. The cold winter probably contributed greatly to the size of this year's flock, with birds from Scandinavia being displaced and settling in our relatively warmer waters".

"Overall, this winter's results show the importance of our sustained monitoring work in understanding the condition and sensitive management of Carmarthen Bay."

WWT Consulting's surveyors, on behalf of CCW, counted the birds from cliff tops and other good vantage points around the bay.

James Darke, of WWT Consulting, noted that most of the ducks were recorded in a 8km long dense, continuous band extending from close to Pendine sands near the Three Rivers estuary around to west of Dolwen Point.

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