Sunday, 26 July 2015

Satantic Swifts nearly blinded me

A walk round Lockwood in the drizzle was accompanied by a party of Swifts and Sand Martins feeding on the east bank. The Swifts, in particular, repeatedly flew just a couple of feet from my head. It was a spectacular sight on a grey and wet afternoon. But given the national trauma caused by gulls apparently carrying off children and livestock, they might be advised not to put on such an exhilarating flying display close to a Daily Mail or Daily Star journalist, a radio talk show host or, it seems, a Tory politician. My cunning plan, having failed to find any waders after rain, to visit during a downpour was scuppered by five fishermen spaced out on Lockwood. For a long time, it looked as if Anglers were going to beat Common Sandpipers but, bouyed by the disappearance of the fisherman in the middle of the east bank, I did another half turn and found in quick succession first four Common Sands together and then another pair.
              A single Common Sandpiper was at the top of the East Warwick where I spent some time again sheltering from the heavy rain in the hide. If the LWT could make the island more wader-friendly, it would be well-positioned. Another Common Sandpiper was on No 5 where Sand Martins had increased to at least 150 and there were also four Swallows - the first I have had for a few weeks - feeding with Swifts, House & Sand Martins over the reservoir, trees and paddock on the east side. Just when I thought I was going to draw another blank, I heard what sounded like a Dunlin, couldn't find it flying across the water only to discover it on the bank below me. It was not the Greenshank or Whimbrel I had hoped for but it was clearly a different bird than Friday's and, like a striker who finally ends a barren period with a deflection off his knee, it will do.

                                           Egrets are taking a liking to the weir


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