Monday, 5 April 2010

Duck on High

A slightly better day than yesterday, although it took a long time for the sun to come out and the wind never let up. The wind was probably responsible for what was probably the best bird of the day, a first summer Little Gull on Ibsley Water. There have been several recently and all have come in during the day in brisk south-west winds. I think this one was a new one as it had only a couple of black tail feathers remaining unmoulted.

I spent a little time today looking for nests as part of the BTO's nest record scheme, nests I checked were 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coot, a Mute Swan, a Blackbird and a Mallard. The Long-tailed Tits were both still building, the Coots and Mute Swan sitting on eggs and the Blackbird laid the first egg during the day, unusual this as they typically seem to lay in the early morning.
The Mallard above has been sitting since at least the middle of last week when I first saw the nest. It is a little unusual though, the nest is in a tree, not that unusual perhaps but this is in a "Witches Broom" on a side branch of a birch tree, in the picture below it is towards the top in the middle and is about 6m off the ground.
Other birds today were about 20 Black-tailed Godwit, up to 100 Sand Martin visiting the nest holes, several Willow Warbler singing in various places, a report of a Hobby, a White Wagtail, a couple of Lesser Redpoll and about 20 Brambling. At the end of the day I saw 8 Brambling at the Woodland hide and all were without rings, as some have been ringed on the reserve recently this might suggest that there are some new birds passing through on passage.

No updates from me for a couple of days as I am off to eat Easter eggs and paint the hallway as an alternative cold cure, paint fumes and chocolate, bound to have some effect.


  1. Hi Robert,
    I was photographing three LRPs in front of Tern hide this afternoon one of which was carrying a ring, on blowing up the images, the main number starts with an N and ends with 762. Hope this might help to confirm if it is one of last years birds! If you want the shots, let me know and I will email them.
    kind regards
    Simon Layton

  2. Simon,
    Thanks, I actually have the number and it is the same male as last year. It was ringed about 2 miles away in 2004 (if I remember correctly) I will put the details in a post sometime soon.