Thursday, April 19, 2012

More Spring Firsts!

Daventry ♂Pied Flycatcher
With further heavy rain overnight I made sure I was at Brandon Marsh just after first light in the hope of more spring arrivals. Unfortunately, although a few more Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat had arrived on site, things are still pretty slow overall and I was unable to add any further species to my spring arrival list.

With heavy rain still falling I decided to give the work party a miss, all of my chain-saw work now complete, and spend the rest of the morning dodging the heavy showers and just touring the reserve. Sunday's Cuckoo had re-appeared and at one stage was calling from the top of the 'big dead tree' on Newlands. However, It wasn't until just after lunch that things picked up slightly, firstly with the arrival of my first spring Greenshank, when one dropped in during a heavy downpour on East Marsh Pool. This was quickly followed by my second UK spring first, a very pristine looking Yellow Wagtail, which seemed to spend most of its stay investigating one of the floating rafts.

♀Wheatear at Draycote Water
On the way home I decided to drop in at Draycote Water and have a short stroll along Farborough Bank to see if I could add to my spring species. As it happens I arrived just after a heavy thundery downpour and although it was extremely blustery, making any photography a little challenging, it remained dry for my hour or so on site. Along the bank and at Farborough Spit two Wheatear were showing well, along with at least a half dozen Yellow Wagtail and 5 White Wagtail were in amongst the many Pied. Good numbers of Meadow Pipit were also recorded and scanning out over the water I managed two Arctic Tern and lone Common.

♀Common Redstart
On the walk back to the car I received a phone call from Kevin Groocock another local birder, who put me on to a ♂Pied Flycatcher, which apparently was showing well at the nearby Daventry Country Park. Luckily on arrival I met Kevin in the car park and thanks to his direction it wasn't long before I had the bird in my sights. Kevin also mentioned a ♀Common Redstart which had also been showing in the same area and I was lucky enough to make contact with yet another gorgeous summer visitor. A number of Common Tern were also recorded during my stay and I eventually arrived back on board after a 12 hour stint with 3 more spring migrants in the bag!

As ever my pictures from today can be viewed in more detail at my Flickr site.