16th April 2009
The last few days at Blashford have seen few new birds arriving for the summer but quite a lot departing northwards. The Common Terns that arrived over the weekend, so far only two, now have their nesting rafts out on Ivy Lake, put out there by the volunteers this morning. In fact they sat on one of the buoys and watched me struggling to tie off the mooring rope, so they know they are there, just have to wait for them to start nesting now.
A good few other birds are already nesting with Lapwing on eggs near the tern hide and well over fifty pairs of Sand Martins now lining their nests in the bank by the Goosander hide. These birds are also using a man-made site, this built by the volunteers early last year. The Sand martins are great to watch from the hide, but are easily put off by the Sparrowhawk that regularly perches next to the bank. It is a great bird to get pictures of though, it sits close to the hide and seems reluctant to fly off, even when the hide windows are opened. I suspect it might not be in the best of health, although it has been seen to catch prey so is still hunting and flies well.
There was no sign today of the reported Black-necked Grebe of yesterday, indeed I still have not been able to find out anything about the record. I assume it was just passing through. The rest of the days birds were mostly of the "nearly gone" variety, there was just one Brambling reported and only a few Redpoll, with no sign of the Greater Redpoll that had been causing some interest. The day ended with a fine view of a pair of Goosander on the small island outside the Tern hide, asleep in the early evening sunshine.