Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Plover Roll-Over

A couple of visits to Aldcliffe over the last two days haven't turned much up as far as new arrivals are concerned.
The many whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, blackcap, willow warbler and chiffchaff are now so embedded in their respective patches that it's easy to forget that they were still en route from distant wintering grounds just a short time ago.
A handful of wheatear can still be found on the saltmarsh, particularly around the Creek but otherwise you'd be hard-pushed to find much to suggest we're in the middle of migration season.
However, there's still plenty of time for plenty more birds to move through and we may well yet see a few notable species such as reed warbler, hobby and spotted flycatcher dropping by. Swifts will soon be making their local debuts and of course May is a great month for finding a rarity!     
Local breeders seem to be taking full advantage of the decent early spring and as well as the few lapwing chicks that have already been seen I noticed the first Aldcliffe coot hatchlings yesterday.
Talking of lapwing, I really hope that there weren't too many ready-to-hatch eggs in the maize fields when the shit-spreader rumbled over them yesterday afternoon and today. There seemed to be much noisy wheeling around by adults and very little sign of scattering young when I was there. This afternoon, they were ploughing in the wake of the muck-raking so any nests that may have escaped yesterday were likely walloped today.
There are still at least 3 little ringed plover in the area but they do seem mobile; frequently moving between Freeman's Pools, the Flood and the Wildfowlers' Pools. I found another bird nearby yesterday, seemingly sitting on eggs.
A couple of pairs of grey partridge were in evidence today, so let's hope for another successful breeding season for these increasingly scarce gamebirds.


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