Saturday, 5 March 2011

Like Buses

After nearly three months without so much as a sniff of a Snipe there were 3 on the Waterworks N.R. this afternoon. Large numbers had built up on the patch after the first cold snap of the winter but seemed to have all disappeared during the second cold snap. I was thinking I would have to wait till next Winter to get them on the yearlist but I heard that some, in fact 11, had been seen on the Waterworks earlier in the week so nipped in there at my first opportunity (well after seeing the Connaught Water Green-winged Teal). Perhaps this is a North-ward staging thing, I don’t suppose they will be around for very long as they are no longer a breeding bird on the marsh. Also there was a Green Sandpiper.

As I had determined to look at Gulls a (little) bit more this year I thought I would check out the pre-roost gathering on the filter beds, it was a bit thin on numbers, and quality too, best was an adult Great Black-backed Gull with a large Red colour ring on its Left Tarsus, suggesting it was rung at Landguard, and a probable hybrid Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull which I have seen here before, I couldn't dig up any Yellow-legged Gulls so will have to get that later in the Summer, maybe.

Winter Thrushes are still around, there was a small party of Fieldfares near the bottom of No.5 (where the Eider was noticeable by its abscence, though it does wander) and in the week I had a group of (sub-singing)Redwings near the stables.

Also earlier in the week I had heard a few Chiffchaffs, a couple singing, along the River Lea near the Golf Course and had my first Bee and Butterfly of the year, a Red Admiral. Though it really doesn’t feel like it, it is just a matter of days now till the first migrants arrive. My earliest Wheatear on the patch was the 13th of March, I wonder if this year will see them quite as early?

PW

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