Lade - cloudy, mild, s 5 - With rain on the way we were up and out in the half light for a circuit of the local patch. Being as it was the first of the year there was a spring in our step, which should last til about mid-month before thoughts of early migrants creep in. However, a reduction in the waterfowl numbers was the main point of note on the lakes with Coot well below a thousand, although three perched Marsh Harriers still thought it worthwhile keeping an eye on the remainder from various vantage points. The main badger sett beside the track showed evidence of overnight activity as the adults prepare for cubbing.
Barney inspecting recent Badger diggings
In the shelter of the willow swamp a mixed flock of Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits contained several Goldcrests and a smart Firecrest. A Cetti`s Warbler called from cover and a Kingfisher flew across the causeway. It was more of the same wildfowl wise on north lake, plus a redhead Smew.
By the time we reached the beach the first splashes of rain arrived making for difficult viewing in the strong wind. Six species of waders were noted, plus 3 Brents and 2 Shelducks. A number of Barrel Jellyfish continue to be beached on the tide line.
The rest of the day was a write off due to heavy rain and gale force winds.