Sunday, 14 August 2011

Mr. Plover Lover

The Banbury yielded a strange fellow walking around the shoreline, someone else camping on the bank and 5 Common Sandpipers, disappointing on all three counts, especially given that the next reservoir North of here, the William Girling, held 19 Common Sandpipers, 15 Green Sandpipers a Turnstone and a Greenshank as well as a possible Temminck’s Stint and 38 Black-necked Grebes yesterday!

The High Maynard was our next stop and that had 4 Common Sandpipers. The Lockwood another seven or eight. It was probably around this point that I whined to Lol something like ‘can we not have something different for a change?’ Suddenly a Wader called, I said what’s that and Lol (My official ears for the day) replied, 'Ringed Plover', it called again, sounding like it had moved a bit further South but try as we might neither of us could pick it up in flight. We weren’t going to do the whole circuit but now felt obliged to do so if only to connect with the Plover.

Despite the water level being low and the West side having a lot of edge we couldn’t turn it, or anything else up. Lol had seen one earlier in the Spring but it was a welcome patch year tick for me, and not one I see annually. I have now reached the dizzy heights of 116 for the year, (2010; 130, 2009; 115) it is interesting to compare even just this small series of data, it makes me appreciate how good 2010 must have been as I can’t see me adding another 14 species during the rest of this year.

About 40 Common Terns on the Low Maynard and another 10 or so on the Lockwood are getting late and will be off pretty soon, the semi-dependent young are still begging Fish but at least the adults have given up trying to kill me. A handful of Swifts were evidence of another soon to be gone Summer visitor. A few Chiffchaffs were calling, one even singing and we managed to get a calling Willow Warbler in scrub near the Banbury.

When over on the marsh a couple of days ago I was struck by the complete absence of Blackberries, in recent years they have been ‘harvested’ on an almost industrial scale, I don’t object to people picking them, even Lol had a few today despite my warning him that Starlings have probably wee’d on them, but it would be nice if folk could leave a few for the wildlife. The other Berry bearing bushes were holding up much better, Sloe, Rosehip and Haw being especially abundant.

On this date: 14 08 1989 3 Whimbrel flew South over the Lockwood and 10 Yellow Wagtails on the filter beds.


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