Sunday, 10 May 2015

A Week in Retrospect

On Tuesday we revisited Friday's location, but this time we had strong winds and drizzle threatening one and off all morning. It was therefore quite a surprise when we heard the first Turtle Dove purring, shortly afterwards a distant Cuckoo could also be heard. It wasn't the best day for spotting small birds, but we did glimpse Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers. We didn't manage to see the Kingfisher, Cuckoo or Turtle Doves.
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker
On Wednesday we voyaged into Lincolnshire again to visit everyone's favourite reserve. Unfortunately, this time we encountered really strong winds, so the birds were very hard to see again. There were plenty of Garden Warblers, and there had been an influx of Reed Warblers since last Tuesday. There were many Swifts heading Westwards, and dozens of Sand Martins low over the water, with fewer House Martins, and only a handful of Swallows. 
There is no doubt that the highlight of the morning was the Hobby which flew at the back of the far lake in the same general direction as the Swifts. Unfortunately, only myself and 2 others were quick enough to get on to it, while most of the others were outside the hide. 
 Bog Bean
On Thursday on Pam's suggestion we went to Pocklington Canal for the first time in about 5 years. Only Maggie and one other person remembered our previous visits here. There were Swallows, House Sparrows and unmentionables near the parking area, but the real birds began after we'd left the lock buildings behind. A Whitethroat showed very well in the remains of an old orchard, and there was another on the other side of the canal. We then managed to see a Sedge Warbler, but this gave very brief views before disappearing into the undergrowth.
We saw Linnets, and then were rewarded with a Lesser Whitethroat. Shortly afterwards we could only just hear a distant Cuckoo, but this began to sound nearer ad we continued our walk. Then Louise was lucky enough to spot it silently flying behind the hedge. It landed in the trees ahead of us and before a single mother with her child and two dogs. It called for several minutes, becoming louder, as we got nearer, but it disappeared without us seeing. 
Moorhen nest & eggs
The two Swans were in residence in their normal place, but don't appear to be nesting this year. Much further up we saw the Cuckoo leaving some trees and flying towards us, before it disappeared for the last time, but we did hear it calling again. At the furthest point we saw quite a few Reed Warblers, and heard a Willow Warbler, but we had to return the way we came. 
Reed Warbler
 Sedge Warbler
One new bird on the return journey was a Goldcrest, which posed briefly before disappearing to the other side of the canal. We enjoyed better views of both Blackcaps and Reed Buntings on the return journey. Phil may have seen a Snipe, but I'm not sure if this was confirmed, as we located a Lapwing on the edge of the same pond. This was the same place we'd enjoyed a good view of a Linnet on the outward trip.  
 On Friday we went to Welton Waters for the final time this Spring, and saw quite a lot of Warblers including Cetti's, Reed, Sedge, and Chiffchaffs.  The highlight was a Yellow Wagtail, and the Yellowhammer wasn't too bad either.
 Record Shot of Yellow Wagtail

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