Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Chill Wind

Winter returned, or at least the chill wind and driving rain made it feel wintry, although the hundreds of Swallows and Martins indicated otherwise. By the end of the day there were something like 200 Swallow, 350 Sand Martin and at least 10 House Martin, mostly over Ibsley Water. There were 2 Little Gulls, but one was certainly different from yesterday as it was an adult. There was no sign of the Common Tern or the Black-necked Grebes today.

Despite the conditions the Little Ringed Plovers continue to plan for nesting, the male calling and making scrapes for the female to inspect. At lunchtime they were doing this very close to the hide and I got a couple of pictures.
Above the male calling, the throat expanded and below making a scrape.
Other birds today included a Wheatear, the first if the year, a Peregrine and about 50 Black-tailed Godwit.
Blashford is entered into the BTO - EDF Energy Birds Business Challenge. One element is to record as many species as possible on the site during the year. By the end of the first quarter we
have recorded 117 species, 97 in January, 94 in February and 106 in March. It is not a challenge we will win as one or two of the other sites will always attract more birds than Blashford, Rutland Water is usually a shoe-in for top spot, but we should give one or two of the next level of sites a run for their money.

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