Saturday, 9 April 2016

Playing Catch Up

I have just spent a lovely week in southern Spain.  It was a family holiday, but even casual birding gave me over 100 species and migration of raptors and other species in that area is in full swing. I came back to my inland UK patch with a bump this morning.

I had missed some of the early Spring migrants because of Easter and being away, so had a few species to catch up on.  Prior to departure, I had seen Swallow and House Martin, the former initially on March 24th and the latter on March 28th.  My first catch up bird this morning was singing as I got out of the car - a Blackcap, followed a few seconds later by a Willow Warbler.  Over the lake itself, a small group of Sand Martins was flying around plus a few Swallows, whilst on the spit was my first Redshank of the year.  This bird did not seem to hang around, as it soon started to call and flew off, though it may still be around.

Three Little Ringed Plovers were also running about on the spit.  I walked the western and southern banks, which are still uncomfortably muddy.  This small section of the patch held 11 Blackcaps, 8 males and 3 females and a further Willow Warbler, so a full count certainly of Blackcaps would have found a healthy number. Two Snipe were on the reed fringe at the base of the spit and small numbers of Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall and Wigeon (just 3 males) were dotted about.

I decided to check the Pump Lane area for Wheatear, Redstart and Ring Ouzel and found success with the former species, a nice male Wheatear was feeding in the 'polo' field and was using a large plastic bucket as a vantage point.

I missed a Curlew whilst away, but hopefully will see plenty more migrant species over the coming weeks.

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