Thursday, 25 March 2010

Top floor dwellings going fast

Following yesterday's report of Sand Martins already visiting nest holes in the artificial bank by the Goosander hide, I decided to make a quick visit there first thing this morning. As soon as I arrived I saw about 20 Sand Martin visiting the bank just to the left of the hide where they were favouring the top row of holes.
Perhaps surprisingly, considering the weather that was to follow later, there was actually a spell of sunshine, better still it coincided with a group of Goosander coming close to the hide allowing a few pictures.
It was always difficult to get them in focus as they never stopped swimming about and this makes digi-scoping a touch tricky. The group below are not all in focus, but they were never going to be, although I got lucky with the drake.
Also from this hide I saw the 4 Black-necked Grebe and about 40 Black-tailed Godwit.
At the Tern hide a Lapwing seems to have settled on a nest site to the east of the hide and a pair of Little Ringed Plover are nest scraping very close to the hide, so perhaps they will nest by the there again. Other waders prospecting include at least two pairs of Redshank and two pairs of Oystercatcher. Although there have been good numbers of Black-headed Gull about they show no great sign of settling, I could do with them doing so soon as I don't want to put the tern rafts out until the gulls are committed to their nest sites.
At the Centre at least 15 Brambling, some of the males looking very fine indeed are certainly worth a second, or third, look. The Bittern at the Ivy North hide was seen again this afternoon after not showing at all yesterday.
As it was Thursday it was volunteer day. Today's tasks included putting in three new bench seats, making some new tern chick shelters and removing more of the garden daffodils that grow in the woodland near the patches of wild ones. We got the timing of the task just right, within five minutes of the end it was like an open-air power shower, in the end we had 22mm of rain today.
The screen in the Centre lobby recorded another "tick" today with an excellent Water Stick Insect which stalked across the top left of the view. Meanwhile the newts continue to cruise about in numbers looking strangely prehistoric. The images can be viewed on the web at
mms:// (yes I know it should be a link, but I could not get it to work so you will have to key it in yourself - sorry).
After my early success at the Goosander hide I thought I would have another look there at the end of the day as I had more time than usual this evening. Once again there were Goosanders, this time 27 birds including eight adult drakes.

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