Thursday, 14 April 2011

Wednesday 13 April

Sorry for the lack of posts recently I have been away for a long weekend in Scotland hill walking. I have been over a few times but seen little. I got washed out on Monday night but didn’t see much apart from a good flock of 200 Sand Martin.

Last night there were a lot of hirundines, with c.250 Sand Martin, c.100 Swallow, 12 House Martin and no Swifts. There were half a dozen singing Blackcap, but little else was bothering on a dull cold evening. Three Greylag flew through and there were still a pair of Garganey. And the was a male “the duck that shall not speak its name” which was a first for the year.

In Scotland I had a few migrants with Ring Ouzel, Wheatear, Willow Warbler all on site I also saw a few Ptarmigan on Beinn Sgulaird but generally we were walking in cloud with visibility down to a few metres although the sun did break through now and again.

Red-crested Pochard the reappearance last Tuesday

Beinn Sgulaird, the only view this was after we had climbed it.

Ben Crauchan, never saw any birds at all on the hill.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tuesday 5th April

Had a walk around this evening and was surprised to see that the Red-crested Pochard had returned it was at the east end of the reservoir but later relocated to the small pool.

The wind was nearly as strong as yesterday and there wasn’t much activity although I had a Willow Warbler which was new for me.

Monday 4th April

It was cold and blustery, more like a day in October than Spring but I braved the elements and walked around both pools. Sand Martin numbered around 100 with around 6 Swallow but apart from 4 Chiffchaff and a single Blackcap all was quiet on the migrant front.

The recently sown field next to the paddocks held 20 Chaffinch, 12 Greenfinch but no Brambling. Three Shoveler dropped in briefly but didn’t stay. We just need a change in the weather and birds should start to pour through.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Sunday 3rd April

Took another early morning walk over this morning with my wife but it was soon apparent that the Sandwich Tern had moved on. In fact it was rather quiet, with just a couple of singing Chiffchaff and a Blackcap. There were no hirundines around which was a surprise but the good weather probably accounted for that.

However, the Red-crested Pochard was still at the east end but was put up by the launch at 10am it appeared to fly off west but my have circled back.

I received an email from Des Ridge who saw the Sandwich Tern at 3pm yesterday and also took this photograph of the Pochard.

Red-crested Pochard (female) – Des Ridge

A cuckoo was seen and heart at Shustoke (A Archer).

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Saturday 2nd April

After yesterday I thought an early morning trip would be best – before the crowds and the sailing got into full swing. From the car park there were around 40 Sand Martin. The Red-crested Pochard was down the far end but when the launch went out it took off with all the Tufted and relocated on the small pool.

Around the small pool I was watching a group of four Treecreeper when the male Lesser Spot alighted on one of the large pines and put on a show. Then I picked up a Willow Tit singing from just outside the Fishing clubhouse. Between the two pools there was a male Blackcap and there were double figures of singing Chiffchaff. On the way back to the car park a male Reed Bunting was singing from the hedgerow.

This evening a call from Steve Cawthray who found a Sandwich Tern had me scurrying from the Quarry to Shustoke where I thankfully connected with said bird. Dave Hutton has promised me a photo so watch this space.

Sandwich Tern – Dave Hutton

Friday, 1 April 2011

Friday 1st April

Having got out of work a little earlier I arrived at the Reservoir at 5pm. On arrival there were three Swallow and around half a dozen Sand Martin. The rest of the lake looked barren, so I decided to change my route and headed over the Bourne and followed the footpath that runs alongside the railway. It was quiet although I did see Kingfisher on the river and a Fieldfare flew across. The length of the railway produced very little just a couple of singing Chiffchaff and what I though would be todays highlight an early House Martin.

By the small pool my attention was grabbed by a small bird of prey expecting Sparrowhawk or Kestrel I was delighted on picking it up in my bins that it was a female Merlin. Although the views weren’t brilliant it was mobbed by a Swallow and banked a couple of time allowing me better views. Unfortunately it kept going, headed roughly north.

I though that was it, and time to head home.On my way back I checked to see if yesterday’s LRP was still present. As I made my way up the south shore I scanned the duck to count the Goosander and was gobsmacked to come across a female Red-crested Pochard. I texted some local birders and on arriving back at the car park SC was there and connected with the RCP.

Needless to say I when home a happy bunny.