Friday, 4 April 2014

Slavonian Grebe & first Swallows

Lade - 0900hrs - cool, cloudy, sw 2 - With light airs and overnight cloud cover we walked Mockmill Sewer full of expectancy but apart from a host of Linnets there was little else of note and certainly no spring migrants. A few Med Gulls and Curlews drifted over and that was about it.
RSPB - 1330hrs - With a trio of lady birders (Judy, Jean and Sarah) down for the weekend we kicked off on the bird reserve from the causeway road where the Black-throated Diver showed well on New Diggings. On ARC three Little Gulls amongst the hawking Black-headed Gulls and from Hanson hide we notched up two Common Terns which were my first of the season. Also from the hide Long-tailed Tit, Reed Bunting, Chiffchaff and Great Tit.
Over the road at Boulderwall the Tree Sparrows performed admirably on the feeders. From the access road we noted Curlew, Lapwing, Greylags, Pink-footed Goose, Common Buzzard and several Marsh Harrier. The ramp provided good views for the ladies of more Marsh Harriers, calling Beardies, Cetti`s Warbler and a swimming Stoat, while the fields behind held more grey geese, Lapwings, Shelducks, Wigeon, Teal and two Hares. We then moved onto Dengemarsh hide where a Slavonian Grebe coming into breeding plumage was a surprise, plus Raven, Little Egrets and our first Swallow of the year along with two Sand Martins. Another Swallow flew over the causeway road on the way back to the coast.
Greatstone Beach - Top stuff here with nine species of shorebirds (couldn`t find a Grey Plover), 12 Sandwich Terns and all the common gulls. A great start to the weekend with 65 species noted.

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