Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Angelic Upstarts

Little ringed plover
As I walked toward Freeman's Wood this morning swallows were already making their presence known, flying over the football pitch and heading north.
The songs of willow warblers, blackcaps and chiffchaffs accompanied me as I headed toward Freeman's Pools. It was little cooler than I would have liked but it felt as if it might be a decent enough morning.
The pools were still fairly quiet. The great crested grebe had moved on, though the merganser had been joined by a second bird. Five pairs of gadwall were back on the water and a pair of oystercatcher were once again on the island, along with a lapwing and couple of lesser black backs.
A feeding group of around 60 sand martins and swallows were actively hawking for insects but still no sign of any house martins.
I checked the hedgerow and woodland around Roase Cottage for migrants. This area has turned up pied and spotted flycatchers, ring ouzels, whinchats and redstarts with some regularity over the years so it's always worth a good look.
Sure enough an angelic male redstart flitted out of the hedge to snatch a passing insect. It was soon joined by another and I spent some time watching the dazzling pair flycatching from the hawthorns.
After that exciting start it went somewhat downhill!

Tufted duck
The next hour and a half were relatively unproductive and any other 'new' migrants eluded me. Another couple of pairs of gadwall were at the Wildfowlers' Pools and the lone tufted duck drake was still sitting pretty on Darter Pool (has he got a duck sitting on eggs somewhere nearby?).
There were 6 little ringed plover on The Flood, along with 4 shelduck, 2 redshank, 2 oystercatchers and a single white wagtail with two pieds.


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