Warm, dry and sunny, N2 - In contrast to the past week of wet and windy weather conditions, today offered some respite once the overnight frost had dissolved. By late morning the warm sunshine issued forth a host of flying insects, including bumble bees and a Peacock butterfly in the garden. An afternoon visit to ARC and Tower Pits, while pleasant enough yielded very little apart from several singing Chiffchaffs in the sallows, reed-bed `sharming` Water Rails, displaying Great Crested Grebes on the lake and soaring Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards in the blue skies over the shingle towards the airport. The Boulderwall fields held a few Curlews amongst the usual wildfowl, Cormorants, gulls and Lapwings. Elsewhere around the peninsula today Willow and Sedge Warblers were reported on the reserve, plus the first Yellow Wagtail of spring, with Black Redstart, Wheatear, Willow Warbler and Firecrest at the point.
More Chiffchaffs were in song at Lade ponds along with further views of soaring raptors from the bridge. South lake was packed out with wildfowl, mostly Coots, Great Crested Grebes, Shovelers, Teal and Gadwall while the icing on the cake went to a pair of Common Scoters; my only other record here was also of a pair in spring about ten years ago.