Monday, 19 March 2012

Monday 19th March

Paid a visit this afternoon and it was really quiet with no Sand Martin present. Although the car park was full there were few people around. It was a pleasant afternoon, ideal for Buzzard and I actually saw double figures, with six bird in the air together at the west end. One wonders how many more Buzzard the area can support, the density must be a close to saturation. A day rarely goes by without seeing one or more in the area. I can remember a time when Buzzard were rare in the region and that isn’t that long ago. In my previous life I birded the Sandwell Valley on a very regular basis for 20 years and saw one solitary bird in all that time. I don’t go back there much now, but every time I have I have seen Buzzard. They must be the success story of the last 15 years. Unfortunately, birds like Little Owl have suffered and one wonders wether they would ever have spread as much as they did if Buzzards hadn’t be persecuted.

Anyway back to Shustoke. The main pool was remarkably quiet with all of the wildfowl from the weekend having moved on. The only duck species of note – which was new for the year was a female Goldeneye.  The small pool was equally as quiet although there were nine Wigeon, five Pochard and four Gadwall. There were few birds singing but I did get my second migrant of the year with a Chiffchaff.

NOTE: Whilst talking with Steve Haynes he was relating a story that many years ago he had a brush with the local Game Keeper who insisted that although he could walk on a public footpath (through the meadow at the west end), he couldn’t stop and birdwatch? That wasn’t the point, the point was he said that he used to see “Jack Snipe” a species not recorded for the Reservoir. Whilst technically it isn’t the “Reservoir” I include it – as well as the field on the other side of the river to the railway plus the footpath alongside the railway and all the fields that lie to the south of Bixhill Lane in my definition of “The Reservoir” So the first addition for the year!!!

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