Not surprisingly I was on a high this morning due to the relief of being back in the UK after a week of not knowing so wasted no time in catching up with Bob Hazell on local patch news and bringing my self up to speed on how the moth trap had done as he had kindly monitored it each morning while I’ve been away.
The pond had been active with arrivals of Whinchat, Artic Tern, Little Gull, Common Sandpiper, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Whimbrel, Swift and Blue-headed Wagtail to mention a few while other sites on my patch have had Garganey, Grasshopper Warbler, Ring Ousel, Garden Warbler and Avocet so nothing there that will make my hair fall out although I have some year ticks to catch up on.
On the mothing front things have been slower due to cold clear nights but Bob managed to photograph Early Thorn and Early Grey for me.
Despite a touch of travel weariness we visited the pond taking nearly three hours just to walk to farborough spit followed by a look at the windsurfing area and rainbow corner in gorgeous spring sunshine and very strange not to see White-eyed Bulbuls, Laughing Doves or Palm trees that I had become accustomed too in Israel.
The walk turned out to be a cracking days birding with my first Sedge Warbler of the year followed by at least 6 Common Sandpiper, then the Blue-headed Wagtail appeared with 11 Yellow Wagtail feeding among the cattle in the field behind farborough bank while 2 Common Tern were out in the centre among the many Black-headed Gulls. On the way back to the visitors centre we had 7 summer plumage Golden Plover go over and 3 Dunlin resting among the rocks totally ignoring all the walkers, joggers and baby pushers present so must have been desperate for a rest. News of a male Garganey off the wind surfing / picnic area soon had us racing over to the area where it was still present having taking a liking to a girlie Mallard. Another year tick for me was 2 Swift over head and other birds of note today were female Wheatear, 200 Sand Martin, 2 Shoveler, 4 Teal, 12 Gadwall and both Great-northern Divers are still present.
all photos by Bob Hazell