Thursday, 18 March 2010

A Bird in the Hand

A few more Sand Martins today both at the start and the end of the day, all over Ibsley Water. However these were not the main signs of the new season. The islands and various parts of the shore had pairs of displaying Black-headed Gulls, Lapwings swooped and strutted their stuff and several Redshank were trilling and fluttering for all they were worth.
The ringers were in this morning catching a mix of Blue and Great Tits a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a few finches including this rather fine male Siskin. There were also one or two Lesser Redpoll about again today, indicating a small passage as our wintering birds all disappeared a couple of weeks ago.
It was volunteer Thursday and the morning was spent clearing the Millennium Meadow, clearing the last of the coppice willow brash and putting up a range of nest-boxes. The boxes were our own make refurbished and some new ones made for us by inmates at HMP Kingston, Portsmouth.
I ate lunch in the Tern hide with some of the volunteers, looking about a Little Ringed Plover was found on the near shore, then there were two, in fact a pair already looking like they were an item. Out on the lake at least two Black-necked Grebe still, including one almost completely in breeding plumage. Sign of passage were provided by about 50 Pied Wagtails and a dozen or so Meadow Pipits, a few Linnets flying over were also possibly on the move.

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