Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday 21st April

A cold start this morning, scraping the frost off of the car. 2.5°C when I arrived at the park. Still at least it wasn't raining!. There were at least 7 Common Terns over the main lake or perched on various buoys. I also spotted some Sand Martins investigating the artificial nest holes on the island. There were at least 5, will this be the year they finally use the artificial nest holes?

Down at the Crescent a Reed Warbler was singing, my first of the year, and I managed to get a glimpse of him in the middle of the reed bed. A pair of Tufted Ducks and a male Gadwall were on west Fingers, no sign of any Little Egrets though. 6 Fieldfares passed over west. DK and JA joined me along the Spit but there was little else of note until we got to the Rough. Still fairly quiet here but a female Bullfinch was a highlight.

JA spotted a Swallow as we headed, along the Long Hedge, to the STW bridge. Here there were at least 3 Sedge Warblers singing with one performing song flight and showing well.

Back in the park we took in Cardington Sluice where a pair of Grey Wagtails were showing well, one with nest material.

Grey Wagtail
 The next stop was the Fenlake Meadows viewpoint where the morning highlight was a singing Grasshopper Warbler, the first of the year in the park. There was also a singing Sedge Warbler on the Fenlake side of the river. As we cut back through to the south side of the main lake I heard a Goldcrest singing.

A couple of pairs of Sand Martins passed over our heads as we walked up the west side of the lake and back at the visitor centre I watched 3 Sand Martins go into a couple of the artificial nest holes as DK updated the recent sightings board.

Singing Wren (Priory Marina)
A fairly steady morning with little moving but warbler counts as follows (per DK):

1 Grasshopper Warbler on Fenlake
32 Blackcaps
10 Chiffchaffs
5 Willow Warblers
1 Reed Warbler
4 Sedge Warblers (1 on Fenlake)

Looking good for the guided walk next Sunday. Meet at the Visitor Centre at 9am.

For anyone interested I am also leading a walk at Putnoe Wood next Saturday afternoon 2pm‐4pm, meet at the entrance to Putnoe Wood.