Saturday, 16 April 2016

Lade Survey

Lade - cool, cloudy, nw 3 - With a chilly north-westerly airflow it was the perfect morning to abandon any hope of a seawatch and mooch around the local patch surveying the breeding birds. In Mockmill sewer Sedge Warblers, Common Whitethroats, Linnets and Stonechat were all in song, plus Skylark and Mipit on the Desert and fields behind the `mirrors`. On the lakes good numbers of Great Crested and Little Grebes actively displayed while a pair each of Teal and Pochard looked as though they may stay to breed. Around the willow swamp Chiffchaff and Blackcap sang, but may only be transient, unlike 5 singing Cetti`s Warbler and a Green Woodpecker excavating a nest hole in an old willow. On scaffold island the usual pair of Oystercatchers had taken up territory. In total there was evidence of 40 species of breeding birds around the site.

                                Canada Geese and Great Crested Grebes

                                Green Woodpecker nesting hole

  A trickle of Swallows and Sand Martins headed north along with 2 Whimbrels and 14 west bound Mediterranean Gulls overhead calling. Also noted, an adult male Marsh Harrier working the reed beds, our first Common Tern of the year over north lake, a Little Egret in the willow swamp and a Raven north along the coast. A flock of 55 immature Mute Swans landed briefly on north lake but were soon `ushered` off by the resident cob bird. Walking back along the beach six species of waders included 12 Ringed Plovers, plus several Med Gulls on the sands while barrel jellyfish continue to be washed up on the tideline.

                                First Common Tern

                                Barney and Barrel Jellyfish

This afternoon once the rain had cleared we checked the working gravel pit to the south where half a dozen each of Shelducks and Oystercatchers were the only birds of note. Another two Whimbrels flew over calling heading inland. Back at Plovers the Goldcrest was singing from the fir trees and Pat photographed a Sparrowhawk on the front garden wall with her I-pad.

                               Sparrowhawk (by Pat Trodd)

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