The only things I can add to Dan's thorough postings are a female little ringed plover on the Flood and a couple of wheatears that were on the marsh on Monday. Oh, and 4 wheatears were also on the improved scrape in the new FLORA reserve area in Fairfield on the Sunday.
Now, back to Aldcliffe and my first chance for a good root around for several days. This morning I covered most of the patch and was pleased to at least find a couple of decentish things.
A scattering of sand martins passed through in small groups - I saw around 30 in total, with one trio attended by a pair of swallows - my first for the year.
Linnets seem to be all over the place at the moment; hopefully we will have some stick around to breed in the Aldcliffe area. I could hear at least 5 different singing skylarks over the marsh, obviously a fraction of the numbers of 20 years ago but still pretty encouraging nonetheless.
|Black swan & mute swans|
The two true highlights came toward the end of the morning when first, I spotted a black swan out on the marsh with the 'resident' mutes. Obviously, this isn't rally a highlight as this bird of dodgy provenance is clearly a fence-hopper and presumably the same swan seen over the winter in the Cockersands / Jeremy Lane area.
The second highlight was a genuine one; a lesser whitethroat. This bird caught my attention as it actively gleaned for insects in a budding hawthorn, constantly emitting its subtle sub-song. It eventually started singing fully, if briefly before continuing to feed up. Nice!
I'll need to check my old notebooks and LDBWS reports but I expect this is the earliest date I've ever recorded 'lesserthroat' here. Interesting to note that Bryan Yorke had one yesterday up at Dalton - see his blog here: I Love Arnside & Silverdale