Sunday, March 25, 2012

Migration Update #1

Sandwich Tern
With spring migration now starting to gain momentum I thought I'd delicate the coming posts mostly to recording the most exciting time in any birders calendar. This time last year I was lucky enough to spend the best part of spring in Canada getting a first hand experience of North American migration and so missed the best part of the UK migration period.

With this in mind I've spent the best part of the weekend on the lookout for any new arrivals. With high pressure dominating birds who are currently held up in southern Europe can now make a push northward. First reports of Sedge Warbler and more sightings of Osprey in Warwickshire today whet the appetite. Of course being a land locked county has its downfall and I always feel that anything us Warwickshire birders encounter out of the norm is really hard work.

Having said that Saturday morning at Brandon Marsh didn't produce anything of note on the migration front but today things started to improve a little. My first singing Blackcap of the year in New Hare Covert, a ♂Swallow over the Lafarge works and two Hirundines over River Meadow, difficult to get a definite ID due to the height and bright sun but likely Sand Martin. A Little-ringed Plover also made a brief appearance on East Marsh Pool, dropping on to Willow Island for a brief stay before making off south.

House Martin (Library Image)
This afternoon a very successful 90 minute visible migration stint on the end of my pontoon with wall to wall sky and camera and binoculars at the ready. This actually paid great dividends with Sandwich Tern, House Martin and 3 Swallow. Also seen and heard of note during the watch: 15 Skylark, 7 Meadow Pipit, 3 Chiffchaff, 37 Fieldfare, 4 Redwing and a lone Red Kite, which drifted across the marina at height heading north.

Of course the warm weather is starting to produce other sightings and over the day I managed Peacock Butterfly at Brandon and a first report of Grass Snake was also forthcoming. The marina also produced Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral.