NAPTON ON THE HILL WEATHER

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Early Movement

Great-crested Grebe from Wright Hide
After what seems like the longest winter ever finally things are on the move, albeit slowly. With the winds to the south over the past few days a few early migrants are already starting to make UK landfall.

Today several Northern Wheatear reports in addition to a single Swallow and a couple of Sand Martin sightings earlier in the week. Despite the weather reverting back to wet and windy over the coming days I'm certainly looking forward to my long weekend in Norfolk, with the hope of further early migrants dropping in.

Grey Wagtail at the Lafarge works
I've made the most of the glorious weather over the last few days with a couple of visits to Brandon Marsh (Ringed Plover on Sunday) and several sorties around the locality but my bird of the week has to be a Ringed-necked Parakeet, which bizarrely flew over the car while I was waiting at traffic lights coming out of Leamington Spa this afternoon!

This morning I located Brandon's current Green-winged Teal, not on River Pool where it's spent all of it's stay thus far, but on East Marsh Pool, fast asleep on Willow Island. Probably due to River Pool being partly frozen first thing!

Despite the glorious weather not too much on offer the best of which were: (3) Goldcrest, (4) Song Thrush in song, (4) Oystercatcher, (2) Great-crested Grebe, (6) Shelduck, (6) Snipe, (7) Lesser Redpoll ground feeding near Wright Hide, Yellow-legged Gull and a lone Grey Wagtail at the Lafarge works. No sight or sound of Bittern to my knowledge this week (no booming Bitterns ever recorded at Brandon) and it's around the time they normally move on so time will tell.

Local Chaffinch in action!
Locally Redwing and Fieldfare are becoming more scarce as they move further north-east but my feeders are still getting a hammering from the local Sparrow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch population. Three Ravens have been taking advantage of the odd thermal over Napton recently and two Common Buzzard were also displaying over the marina. The most encouraging signs have been several Skylark on the wing and in full song, always a delight!

Yesterday evening Dee and I listened to a couple of Muntjac Deer calling around bedtime and there are also signs that a local Fox has been active within the marina. I'm also keeping an eye on the local Coots, who have an unfortunate habit of building nests on various boat decks, only to be extracted when the owner arrives at the weekend and fancies a cruise out!