Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Signs of spring sprung

Yet another fine day, I arrived to open up the Tern hide to a fine sunny scene, the water calm and birds scattered about. Right in front of the hide ten pairs of Gadwall were feeding along the shore, the female below shows the white speculum and the yellow bill with dark centre which immediately separate it from a duck Mallard.
As has been the case for a few days now there were numbers of Pied Wagtails around the shore, still mostly males and with them a few Grey Wagtails, Meadow Pipits and a single Water Pipit. The Grey Wagtail has the most intensely acid yellow undertail coverts, I suspect these are also migrants, although we do have a pair that nest along the Dockens Water in some years.
At the Woodland hide the Wild Daffodils had opened since the weekend, it is great what a couple of days of sunshine can do. In fact it felt really spring-like today and this feeling was enhanced at the end of the day when I saw a male Little Ringed Plover as I closed Tern hide, at last a summer migrant!
Perhaps just in time the Sand Martin bank was completed today, it took three volunteers and myself a couple of hours and there are now just over three hundred holes for them to choose from.
Other birds on the reserve today included the 4 Black-necked Grebe still on Ibsley Water, also there 2 Oystercatchers, a Redshank and still a good few Goosander and Goldeneye. At the Woodland hide there are still twenty or so Brambling, a few Siskin, but no Redpoll.

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