Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Lockdown Day 16

☀️⛅️21C ~ Wind ↗NE@4mph Wednesday 8th April 2020 ~ Apart from an Oystercatcher just before midnight and just three Redwings passing over during a six-hour session, last nights Nocmig recording was very disappointing. Recording nocturnal bird migration is still a learning curve for me and it would seem that clear skies and a full moon are not the best conditions for us nocmiggers!

There was no sign of yesterdays Common Sandpiper when I arrived at Napton Reservoir and just a single Snipe recorded today. Chiffchaffs were plentiful and Blackcaps too, along with three Willow Warblers but incredibly no hirundines for the 4th day running and I'm still yet to register my first Swallow of the year. At one stage I did hear a Water Rail calling from the reedbed but never connected. At the beginning of the week, I was getting a little excited that the water levels were dropping sufficiently to expose a few mud patches around the reedbed but sadly today noticed that the canal sluices were in full swing and the water levels were rising again rapidly

Marsh Harrier moving south over the reservoir towards Napton Hill
I must admit I'd got a little complacent today watching the many Buzzards enjoying the glorious weather, so when a Marsh Harrier suddenly appeared heading south at height I was a little taken aback! So much so that I was enjoying the bird so much I'd forgotten I had my camera. However, I did snap into action eventually and managed a few record shots as the bird departed heading over towards Napton Hill.

Marsh Harrier heads south
I'd originally reported the bird to friends as a cream head female, a natural assumption I suppose but I've since been made aware that this bird is possibly a 2nd calendar year male! In these situations, I'm happy to yield to the more experienced and I'm thankful for the input, either way it's just a great bird to have over the patch.

More Orange Tips beginning to appear now
A number of butterflies on the wing early today and these included: (3) Brimstone, (4) Peacock, (5) Small Tortoiseshell and (2) Orange Tip both males.