Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Some New Arrivals

3rd April - a morning visit in calm, dry and sunny conditions yielded a few new year ticks.

I arrived on site at about 8:30am and a scan of the pit revealed no waders and no sign of anything new in.  A pair of Shelduck still remained and a male and female Wigeon were still on site - the Wigeon had been down to 2 males a while ago which were then joined by 11 further birds, 6 males and 5 females around March 25th.  These soon departed to leave a single male and a further female now seems to have joined it.

At 8:45am, a Common Tern arrived, presumably coming in off the Thames and began flying and dipping in the SW corner, fairly close to the tern raft.  With no hope of getting a record shot in flight, I left for the meadow in the hope that it might alight somewhere whilst I was gone.  In the western meadow, 8 Fieldfares were feeding and also 2 Rooks in with the Jackdaws, which is a bird that had so far eluded me this year.  In the dried up Spade Oak meadow, I noticed a rather distant pale bird.  Just as I was about to scope it, 2 dogs went charging at a small group of geese, scattering them onto the river - luckily my bird remained in its favoured spot nearby and was quickly identified as a Wheatear.  I took a couple of record shots into the sun before it took flight towards the river.  I didn't see whether it crossed or not, but this meadow is heavily used by dog walkers, so I expect it moved on fairly quickly.

I crossed the railway back to the lake at about 9:00am to find that the Common Tern had departed, so a lucky encounter.  Along the railway bank, my attention was drawn to some rustling in a leaf/twig pile and I soon noticed what I think is a Bank Vole scurrying around.  It gave a few photo opportunities whilst I wasn't in photo mode and when I was, it became camera shy.  This is the best I could manage.

The pile

The vole
Other than a couple of Sand Martins and a Swallow in the SE corner, the only other thing of note was a build up of Blackcaps since my last visit - I counted 12 birds, with 11 singing males and a female.

I popped back briefly at about 2pm to find no real change, except a build up of immature LWHG on the spit and then left.  Dave F paid a visit less than an hour later and found what is presumably the same 2w Iceland Gull that was last seen here on March 11th - ah well, you can't see them all!

No comments:

Post a Comment