Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday 20th March 2010

A dry start, but a very damp end to this mornings visit. I much prefer the dry and cold rather than the wet and warm! It was a case of "where have all the ducks gone this morning?". In fact where has everything gone? The main lake looked decidedly empty when I got out of the car, mainly due to the reduction in Mute Swan numbers. A scan of the lake produced 4 of the regular Wigeon grazing on the grass in front of the sailing club, no sign of any other winter wildfowl though.

Caught up with DK down by Fingers and mentioned the Chiffy singing by the steps and he'd had a second singing along the Spit. JA joined us and DK said that most of the ducks had departed earlier in the week with just odd ones remaining. We finally came across a single Pochard in the reed bed by the main lake hide later in the morning.

Along the Spit we had 2 Treecreepers, 2 Little Grebe on west fingers and 3 Tufted Ducks on east fingers. 2 Kingfishers were chasing around the Crescent.

On Kingsmead there was a Swans wing so I guess a Fox had had a good meal!

At Kramer Hide we heard at least 2 Bullfinch calling and a Skylark over. JA thought the Canada Goose, on the island in front of the hide, was standing over an egg.

A Kingfisher followed us along the navigation channel and was seen heading across Kingsmead, then coming back up the navigation channel. At the Cut we had Kingfishers again, seen chasing out of the Cut and down the river.

We checked out the lakes along the cycle track. Just 11 Tufted Ducks on the first lake, 8 Tufteds and 5 Gadwall on the big lake and a single Tufted on Meadow lane GP. We also had a party of Linnets (~30) on 100 Acre and 3 Lapwing.

Little else of note. The rain started while we were in the main lake hide, a Chiffy was singing nearby and the rain intensified as we walked back round to the car, giving our waterproofs a good test!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring has sprung

Thursday - DK had a Sand Martin over the main lake early morning (c.07:30)
It is difficult to work out the number of Chiffs that are about as singing birds seem to be very mobile at present; best guess = 3.
The Little Egberts are coming in to roost after 17:30; there are up to 5.
There also seems to be far more Magpie nests (you divide by 2 to obtain the breeding pairs) this year than ever.
Of note are the Dabchicks, which are in their summer finery!