Saturday, 27 February 2016

Reservoir Dog-days

You don't expect much when you visit the reservoirs at the end of February. The winter visitors like the duck have begun to trickle away without being replaced by much. Another fortnight and there is a real sense of expectation. So today's visit was pretty much as anticipated. I did see Green Sandpiper for the first time this year with two briefly at the top end of Lockwood before they returned to the overflow ramp. A flock of c10 Siskins in the alders at the bottom of East Warwick was a reminder that it had been a very good winter for them, but otherwise it was pretty much the same old birds. There was at least one Stonechat on West Warwick and one or perhaps two Common Sandpipers on No 4. Jamie's Barnacle Goose was feeding voraciously on West Warwick, doubtlessly stocking up for its long flight north.

Duck numbers are right down with not a single Shoveler but I did count 46 Teal on High Maynard and probably had another 20 off the Lea and on other reservoirs. I could only find two frisky Goldeneye on Lockwood who also can't wait for Spring.

I just about crept up to a par score of 55 species for the visit without a Cetti's or a single bird of prey. But the Green Sands took me up to 70 species for the year which is one more than last year on two fewer visits. It's not bad given it has been a pretty mediocre winter and I seemed to have missed the few good birds which have turned up because I have been away. But with a little work jaunt next weekend to Seattle (and the chance of Surfbird and Varied Thrush) I could time my next visit with the first Sand Martin of the year which was the 14th. .

DB @porthkillier

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