Thursday, 31 March 2011
The story of the last couple of days has been the mass arrival of brambling. I have arrived in the morning to a surround sound of wheezes, the trees full of male brambling, they may look good but they are no singers. Yesterday I counted at least 85 under just the two feeders beside the car park near the Centre, on the tv screen with the feed from the Woodland hide loads more could be seen. There have also been a few new lesser redpoll, but only tens and very few siskin. Last week there was a very pronounced departure of finches and for several days there were no more than a few tens of brambling one or two siskin and no redpoll at all, then yesterday masses of finches again. I assume these are new passage birds passing through, but we now have more brambling than there have been all winter. At the Tern hide as I opened up about 150 sand martin and a single house martin, there was one reported yesterday as well. Also yesterday a common tern was reported, an early record for inland especially. There are now several little ringed plover looking quite settled, the male nearest the hide now has a mate and she was very close to the hide as I locked up and I got a picture, complete a Blashford trademark twig. It was volunteer Thursday, today we were putting the finishing touches to the seasonal path. This should have been due to open tomorrow, frustratingly, I am told it has to wait a few more days for the resolution of some administrative matter or other. During the day two little gull turned up on Ibsley Water, an adult and a first summer, I saw only the latter at the end of the day. We have had at least five little gull through already this spring, probably six and the migration has hardly started yet, it could be a bumper year. In other developments our new coffee vending machine arrived today, unfortunately the fitter did not, so it is just a big box wrapped in plastic at present, maybe tomorrow. I am also expecting a delivery of pumice for the tern rafts tomorrow, I hope to mix it with the remaining shells to provide a, not too heavy, substrate for the terns to nest on. I have had real problems with the lay-out of this post tonight, so apologies if it looks odd, for some reason it refuses to allow paragraphs.