Friday, 24 April 2015

The Heat is On

On Thursday we repeated our visit to a week last Tuesday's location. There were more summer visitors, but not all had arrived by any means. The Sand Martin's looked more settled at the beginning of the walk. The long floodbank was very cool at first with misty conditions, and a chilly wind. Elaine pointed out a raptor flying along, which on examination turned into a Sparrowhawk. It then began to soar over one of the houses long enough for everyone to see it. After lunch a Buzzard soared in the same area & was bombarded by Lapwings.  Eventually we heard 3 different Sedge Warblers along the river, but no Reed Warblers.
 Little Ringed Plovers
 Sand Martin
 Checking every crevice
 Pied Wagtail
 Buzzard mobbed by Lapwing
The Ruff were distinctively different from each other with a pale-headed one, and a very dark individual and then a very small one. In the afternoon we found a couple of very bright male Yellow Wagtails.
 Sedge Warbler
 The View from a bridge
Frank being uttered
The weather improved as we turned near the factory and as we stood on the bridge Elaine from a distance of nearly a quarter of a mile was able to identify a Linnet. An immature Heron seemed to be almost swimming in the drain, and it had returned in the afternoon. Later, we heard a Willow Warbler, and had rather poor views of a Whitethroat. A wader flew high and away from us, which may have been a Dunlin, but it landed too far for us to check in David's telescope. However, the morning highlight was a very showy Lesser Whitethroat. Angela was so impressed she didn't think the name was fair, and it should be named something in its own right. In the afternoon 3 Little Ringed Plovers were just beyond the bridge. 
 Little Ringed Plover
 Small Tortoiseshell
 Lesser Whitethroat
We walked along the drain and Elaine spotted a wader species, which made a rapid exit. Unfortunately, it wasn't relocated for specific identification. In the afternoon a couple of Common Sandpipers were in the same area, so this may be what she saw. Along the factory side we stopped to watch a Blackcap catching some insects in between singing snatches of his attractive song. Overall we saw more than 30 species, on what was at first a very chilly, but rewarding morning. 
Record Shot of Yellow Wagtails

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