Lade - 0730hrs - mild, cloudy, sw 2 - A Sedge Warbler singing in Mockmill scrub was my earliest ever record here on the local patch. There was also a noticeable increase in Linnets and Chiffchaffs across the site, while duck numbers continue to decline as they disperse back to their breeding grounds. An afternoon visit yielded the first Yellow Wagtail of the season high overhead calling and two Swallows on north lake.
Dengemarsh - Unsurprisingly, more Sedge Warblers and Chiffchaffs were singing from the reedbed margins around the circuit and in scrub by Boulderwall Pools, where the drake Ring-neck Duck continues to flirt with Tufted Ducks. The Hooded Merganser was still on the small lake at the back of Hooker`s, although keeping well into the reeds for most of the time, while Tree Sparrows, Cetti`s Warbler and Bearded Tits all proved far more obliging. From the ramp the usual feral geese in the back fields, a pair of Marsh Harriers over and a cronking Raven heading for the power station.
Couldn't find any sign of the Water Pipits in the hayfields, but they could easily still be present lurking in the long grass. Redshanks, Lapwings and Shelducks were all present and in breeding mode.