Saturday, 5 May 2012

Splashes of Colour Amid the Gloom

Yesterday was another day struggling with this unappealing spring weather.  We walked along a flood-bank in strong northerly winds, and in the afternoon some horrible mizzle.  Despite the conditions we saw some quite good stuff.  Before we started there were plenty of Swallows flying around our heads, plus a few House Martins, and at least 2 inseparable Sand Martins.  Along the river bank we saw some stonking Yellow Wagtails, a Sedge Warbler, and on a pile of dung in the afternoon a Wheatear. Also in the afternoon there was a Common Sandpiper along the river bank, not far from insect-eating Yellow Wagtails & seed-chomping Linnets.  
There was no sign of the Kingfishers, which used to frequent the site before these last 3 chilly winters.  On the return journey you get a bit closer to waders & we saw 7+ Whimbrel, a gorgeous white Ruff, Lapwings, Redshank and in the afternoon despite the drizzle a single Snipe indulged in his impressive display flight.  At times the sickle-shaped wings of the Swifts sawed through the air very close to the group and at one moment came between a married couple!  We heard songbirds as this side too, with Yellowhammers, Lesser Whitethroats and common resident birds.
We’ve seen cows at this location in the past, but this time there were dozens of ponies, some of which had just given birth to foals...

We were about to wrap up for the day when Jim spotted a pair of Pintail - a great end to the afternoon!
Just hoping that next time the weather will be a lot kinder to us...

Wheatear on Dung (like yesterday pm)
 Yellow Wagtail on Reeds (a bit whacky)
 Ruff [male]
 Mute Swan
 Some Whimbrel here
 Rounding them Up

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