Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May or November?

1st May - Overnight rain continued into the morning with some easterly winds, so I was hopeful of seeing something interesting.  In fact, the morning was wet and uneventful, but a few reasonable birds later on salvaged the day.

I was on site at 8am under a brolly, as the rain was persistent, though not heavy.  The wind was easterly, but quite light.  I left at 9:30am, as very little was happening.  Of note in this first stint was a Hobby that buzzed the end of the spit in the rain before departing and a Cuckoo calling late on from the northern side.  A Reed Warbler could be heard singing from the reeds at the base of the spit, a pair of Shelduck and the lingering male Wigeon.

I returned at 11:30am when the rain had stopped and there were signs of brightness, though it was still quite murky.  2 Dunlin had arrived during this time and were feeding towards the end of the near spit.  They were moulting into summer plumage, with 1 bird slightly more advance than the other.  I took a few record shots through the gloom:

The back bird more advanced than the front

More advanced moult

Less advanced moult
At midday I was joined by Mick M - it still felt slow, but promising.  A further pair of Shelduck flew in from the SE.  At about 1:30pm, I noticed that the tern numbers on the eastern side seemed to have risen slightly and after scoping, noticed a lovely Arctic Tern amongst some Commons, though still only had 12 terns on site.  Shortly later a band of rain came through, so this might have pushed the tern in.  We watched the Arctic for some time, though it kept disappearing behind the reeds in the NE corner, as it flew low over the water, picking insects off the surface, its very long tail streamers particularly noticeable. Another single bird, which is slightly odd for a bird known to move through in some numbers.

A Hobby went over north at about 2pm and a Common Sandpiper flew around the lake, seemingly avoiding landing on the spit.  30 minutes later I was getting ready to leave when I happened to glance up and see 2 mid-sized brown birds flying over going NW into the NW corner.  A quick look through bins confirmed these as Whimbrel - they could have so easily been missed, as they didn't call once.

I then left for the school pick-up, but thought with a few minutes spare I would check the local paddocks - good move, because a lovely male Whinchat was feeding around the horse manure piles in the bottom of the valley.  3 Wheatear were also nearby.  I had to dash, which was unfortunate, because later visitors found a further Whinchat and Wheatear - ah well.

No comments:

Post a Comment