I decided to accompany Dee to Leeds for her business meeting on Monday with the intention of visiting RSPB Old Moor while her meeting took place. It was my first visit to Old Moor and despite being an excellent and well maintained site it's not for me, although the pasta pork bake on the cafe balcony was an excellent lunchtime treat.
Airbus Beluga at 12,000ft (flight-radar) on descent to Broughton, near Chester
Too many noisy Black-headed Gulls and not too many areas of scrape for waders for my liking. A gentleman did tell me that a Mediterranean Gull was onsite but searching through 1000's of gulls in anticipation is not my style. I managed to visit most hides but never managed to connect with either Bittern or Bearded Tit, two of the sites specialist species. Best of the day for me was the Airbus Beluga, which appeared out of the cloud making a steady descent for Broughton near Chester, where it delivers daily airbus parts.
Synopsis for next week
The rest of the week has been spent locally and at Brandon Marsh in search of very early summer arrivals. Of course the current blocking high pressure is doing us no favours on that score and indeed the situation for next week is looking no better. Brandon Marsh has seen the first Redshank arrival of the year and an albeit brief song of a Chiffchaff on Tuesday morning before the cloud and chilly northeasterly rolled in! Also on Tuesday's visit a Woodcock was flushed along the path running through New Hare Covert and a real rarity for Brandon in the form of a Red-legged Partridge, when a single bird was feeding on Farm Field. Over the week a steady passage of Redwing and I've also come across a nesting pair of Long-tailed Tits, a pair of Nuthatch building up a nesting hole with mud, drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers and the encouraging sight of a Willow Tit investigating one of our nesting areas!