Wednesday, April 10, 2019

πŸ“– #14/2019 ~ More Hedge Bashing!

It's been a real slog searching for incoming summer arrivals each morning over the past week with persistent easterlies or north-easterlies and often cloudy days. A high-pressure system building from Scandinavia has blocked any possibility of southerlies and has established itself over the UK during the last day or two, plus it's become a little colder, with -2C on the weather station as I left the marina this morning. Things are simply held up and the forecast is for more of the same for the coming few days.

Little Gull ~ Apparently one of the best spring movements for years
The recent Pied Flycatcher at Brandon Marsh appears to have departed, with no sightings since Sunday although its probably the longest staying on record, five days in all! A Sedge Warbler singing from the reeds directly in front of East Marsh Hide was a one day wonder and the first Common Tern of the season arrived, but only stayed briefly on Monday morning and I missed it. Another brief visitor on Monday a Yellow Wagtail, when one suddenly took flight from Wigeon Bank, having been spooked by the constantly bickering Canada Geese. A stop at Napton Reservoir on route home produced good views of a Sedge Warbler, which wasn't singing and just suddenly appeared high up in the reeds.

Willow Warblers continue to arrive in small numbers
Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs appear to be well established, with a few ♀Blackcaps now on site, one actually collecting nesting material during one visit. The Sand Martins are now visiting the two nesting structures and House Martins and Swallows continue to pass through. Redshank, Little-ringed Plover and Oystercatcher are regularly seen mating, these are regular breeding birds at Brandon and so all bodes well.

I aborted my visit to Brandon on Tuesday morning due to a ridiculously noisy school party! I have no problems with education but it's a mystery to me as to why these parties need to visit the Wright Hide on the main reserve, kicking out anyone who has the misfortune to be inside birdwatching, especially having invested so much in the newly built hide for education at the nature centre.

Anyway, I took the opportunity to nip over to Draycote Water, where double figure Little Gulls and a single Black Tern were on offer. While here a lone Common Tern was also noted. On my way home I stopped once more at Napton Reservoir and was amazed to find a dozen Shelduck. In the eleven or so years I've been moored in this area I've only ever seen one other at the site. A Cetti's Warbler has also begun to call regularly, possible the same individual I picked up calling at the marina during a nocmig (recording nocturnal bird migration) session last Friday night.

Despite last nights clear skies this morning's visit, Wednesday 10th was probably the most disappointing so far, with nothing new, little movement and a bitterly cold wind.

And that as they say is that for a few weeks as I head off up to Scotland tomorrow to enjoy our new land-based πŸ˜Žhome and some new birding locations to explore, but of course I'll still be blogging!