Thursday, 15 April 2010

Thanks for your Osp-vitality

Morning visit.NE 1, later NNE 3. 1-3 oktas.

Today was a bit cool and clear, with more song at eleven than at nine. But small numbers of common migrants seem to be making it up here in spite of the mildly unfavourable conditions.

A male common redstart was flitting about the Fairfield side of the patch early on. This area (the millennium orchard and environs) seems to have a better track record for this species than the better-watched estuary drag.

Visible migration was highlighted by 16 redpoll sp. (and a few more heard-only) making their way NE in twos and threes.

Aside from these, vis. seemed to be limited to two sand martins and a handful of swallows, linnets and meadow pipits.

One, perhaps two lesser whitethroat were back in typical hedgerow haunts today. Aldcliffe is a bit of a stronghold for this little sylvia. Other warblers included around fifteen male blackcaps.

There was a reasonable list for pool-watchers including two little-ringed plovers, a green sandpiper, five gadwall and two each of goldeneye and teal.

I've felt a bit hard done-to on the osprey front this spring ( I shouldn't do really-- I haven't put the time in) so I was pleased to get on a probable female (pictured) heading over Colloway Marsh, over my head and on ENE over Aldcliffe village, at about 100 metres of height.

 I was talking to an off-duty ringer when I heard a clamour of waders which suggested an approaching OP, and rudely broke off our conversation to scan. Sorry Alan. At least I was right!

We're maybe a couple of days past peak osprey passage. But four whimbrels frequenting the mudflats were quite early by Aldcliffe standards. I rarely note them till about the 20th down here.


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