Sunday 13 April 2014

A fall of Willow Warblers

Lade - 0600-0900hrs - warm, dry, sunny, light airs - A stunning morning and ideal for a circuit of the local patch. We started at the gravel pits and then crossed the Desert towards Mockmill sewer and carried on around the lakes behind the `mirrors`, returning via the ponds. The gravel pits held all the usual gulls, common wildfowl and waders, Mipits and Skylarks, Kestrel and a Black Redstart, plus a pair of Little Ringed Plovers, our first of the year locally. Crossing the shingle ridges with more singing Mipits and Skylarks we approached the sewer and it was apparent that quite a few warblers had dropped in overnight. Sedge Warblers were song-flighting from bramble patches and the first of at least 20 Willow Warblers sang from gorse bushes along with many Linnets. A Snipe flushed from the bog, Reed Buntings sang and a pair of Stonechats perched on scrub at the airport end. Scanning from the fence line towards the runway revealed a Wheatear, more larks and pipits, Marsh Harrier and 12 Curlews. Working our way behind the `mirrors` there were more Reed Buntings, Willow, Sedge, Cetti`s and Reed Warblers singing and a Green Woodpecker flew over being chased by a large Sparrowhawk! At the north end two Ring Ouzels burst from cover on the scrubby ridges and a Corn Bunting jangled from a distant post. Skirting around north lake more Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs called from the buddleia and willow swamp and all the usual ducks and grebes were noted on the water. From the aerial ramp Goldfinch and Yellow Wagtail flew over, plus 10 Med Gulls and 20 Sandwich Terns heading Rye way. As we got home for a life-saving cuppa two Willow Warblers sang from adjacent back gardens and throughout the morning more passed through our garden. The only down side was the lack of whitethroats and hirundines, but otherwise it was a superb morning on the local patch where we eventually rattled up a tidy 69 species of which 48 species were, or will, probably breed hereabouts.
An afternoon visit yielded little else apart from two Swallow over the causeway.

                                Lade north

                               Mockmill Sewer

                                Reed Bunting, Lade

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