Saturday, 12 April 2014

First Cuckoo and a Little Ringed Plover

Yesterdays Crag Martin at Flamborough did not linger-famous last words as it came on again this afternoon, so our weekend trip was put off until tomorrow. As a result of a general increase in summer migrants I went to Amwell-it was either that or the Garganey at Rye Meads.
Phil was the only one present, and it looked to be another quiet day with not much happening. However, a burst of Cuckoo song over towards Hollycross was good, and we picked it up in flight. I got a record shot but it was only about 20 pixels wide-barely enough to show it was a cuckoo species!
Bill and Simon put in an appearance for a while but apart from the LIttle Ring Plover pair, the Redshanks and brief OYstercatcher visits it did seem that I should have gone to Rye. The occasional Sand Martin was seen, and several Swallows-my first, went through. Not sure how many raptors were seen-Buzzards were in view all around, there were at least three Sparrowhawks, a Kestrel and at least two Kites.
Duck numbers are low, most of the winter visitors have departed, leaving a few Teal and Shoveller. The drake Wigeon remains as expected, as well as the white Herring Gull which appears to be ill. Two Egyptian Geese appeared then flew off, and everyone then decided to call it a day so I went for a walk.
Called in at James Hide for a while where Brian the photographer had hidden himself, and it was nice to see old Ron there as well as he has not been down for a good six months. Apart from the very vocal Cetti's Warbler, I heard and saw my first Sedge Warblers, and a Grey Heron posed on one of the old stumps.

Down the Hollycross track the most vocal birds were Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. with a few tits adding a bit of variety. THree Jays at the Hollycross gate was unusual. First Speckled Wood here, as well as single Orange Tip and Small White.

I got back to the watchpoint at noon and was intending to depart when the Little Ring Plovers started to get very active and fly around overhead. Julie arrived at this point having seen the Rye Garganey so I stuck around and got some nice flight shots.

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