Sunday, 14 May 2017

A passage of Whimbrels

Saturday - Lade - warm, dry, sunny, sw 4 - A blustery day made for difficult birding on the local patch with few passerines noted. A party of Swifts moved north during the morning and two migrant Wheatears were on the Desert. An evening visit to the beach in glorious sunshine delivered a party of 16 small, dark Ringed Plovers of the tundra race, plus 10 Knots, 30 Curlews, 15 Barwits and two Shelducks.
 The garden MV lamp attracted a record 10 species of moths to light last night, the best so far this spring. Silver Ys were most numerous followed by Tawny Shears and Light Feathered Rustics; Common Swift and the Shears being new for the year.
  Whilst wandering around the garden just before midnight, looking for `our` Hedgehog, I heard the distinctive call of the Seven-note Whistler amongst the clamouring of Oystercatchers flying to roost on a flood tide. Looking up into a crystal clear sky to the north I could just about make out a flock of some 30 Whimbrels passing high over the peninsula on migration. A magical sight and sound on which to finish the day.

Sunday - Lade - Once the early morning drizzle cleared it turn it a fine spring day, albeit blustery again. However, around the garden our first Painted Lady of the year paid a visit while Holly Blue, Peacock and Red Admiral were all noted.

RSPB - A late morning visit to the bird reserve with our grandson delivered good views of a Hobby on ARC and new for his life list. Burrowes was quieter than of late with a pair of Avocets in front of Firth hide and, briefly, the long staying Iceland Gull on a distant island. Elsewhere, there was plenty of Common Tern activity around the lake, although for the most part the Common and Herring Gulls seem to have taken the prime nesting sites. On the way back out a Wheatear flew over the track by the bee-hives and a male Marsh Harrier quartered the fields at Boulderwall.

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