Saturday, 13 April 2013

Lots of Year Ticks

Well Spring has finally decided to arrive, with no frosts over the last few days and a reasonable amount of warm sunshine. Today promised temperatures in double figures and a southerly air flow, with rain in the afternoon, so I went down to Amwell as usual.
Jay had been present for a while and mentioned a Sedge Warbler and two Willow Warblers down near the marina, as well as a few hirundines, and the only other thing of note was the regular 1s Yellow Legged Gull. Graham White mentioned that another Sedge was present near the main hide but did not tell us about the Kittewake he had seen.

 I saw a House Martin distantly over the woods before making my way down to the marina, but the fine sunny weather we had been experiencing tuned to dull cloud and a cool wind started up, and I guess this shut the warblers up. Making my way back to the watchpoint I got my second year tick in the form of Simon-I have not seen him since well before Christmas.
Over the course of the next hour or so small flocks of Sand Martins went over, with a few more House Martins and at least three Swallows. Two Egrets seemed to be in the breeding mood, as were the Grey Herons. Also at least four Redshanks and the regular two Oystercatchers were present, plus a few Teal, Snipe  and Goldeneye still. A nice bonus was the re-appearnce of the Jack Snipe. Simon got a nice video clip, but it was a little too far away for my camera (but still much better than the Tewin bird).

 Luckily Julie had arrived as well as one or two others that I knew and we all had excellent views through the scopes. In fact it was one of the few Jacks that could be easily picked out without optical aid.
 Eventually Simon departed and Julie and I accompanied him up to Tumbling Bay. The local Grey Wagtail was feeding around the lock, and we heard several Blackcaps, a Treecreeper and a Redpoll, but failed to locate any Willow warblers.

We got back to the watchpoint around noon, but things seem to have quietened down, the Jack had gone and there were only a few hirundines left. I got home about the time the Marsh Harrier went over.

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