Wednesday, 23 March 2011

March 23rd 2011

Bob, April and I were approaching the gate from the country park to the reservoir this morning when 2 Egyptian Geese flew over the visitor centre heading east at 9:15am but lost to view behind the trees of the sailing club car park.
With blue sky’s and little wind the surface was a mirror and you could easily pick out the first summer male Scaup once you new where to look plus 4 Goosander, 20 Goldeneye, 30 Wigeon and 6 Gadwall but no sign of any Med Gulls amongst the many Black-headed and Common Gulls present.
I decided I would stay on farborough spit looking for flyovers while Bob and April did their circuit and spent the next 3 hours fighting off the flies. First I picked up a first of the year Swallow heading north with another 2 forty minutes later over the tree tops of Thurlaston village then on one of my many 360 degree sweeps counting Buzzards I saw a Woodcock in flight presumably having been disturbed before it dived in to distant cover.
With a scope and local knowledge of thermals I eventually located a record count for me of 41 Buzzards at this location plus 2 Sparrowhawk and 2 Peregrine so at least the birds of prey were taking advantage of the rays although two thirds would have been missed if I only relied on bins and didn’t use sunglasses to cut out the glare. At least 100 Fieldfare and a lone Redwing were in the field next to the sewage farm and 2 Brambling showed well at the end of the “bridal” path below farborough bank feeding on the many fly’s present along with 9 Reed Bunting. Of interest I have been informed the set-a-side strip behind the inlet has been ploughed up.
Other sightings included 4 Barnacle Geese, 10 Graylag Geese and 8 Guinea Fowl while on the butterfly front I managed 4 Comma, 5 Brimstone, Small White, Peacock and 4 Small Tortoiseshell and a Noctule Bat that was out for 45 minutes flying straight then diving steeply for prey.

I did not have things all my own way as I missed Willow Tit (Pete), Sand Martin Oystercatcher (Bob and April) and what sounded like a passing Goshawk (Pete) from the description given.

Bob took pictures of Early Grey, Hebrew Character and Twin-spotted Quaker from another excellent catch

Early Grey



Kyle said...

Really enjoying your posts. Note that waxwings seem to be around the Cawton Estate. My kids are dead keen to see some. Any advice of where and when?


Richard Mays said...

Try the area Lawford Lane by the Bear Pub SP476745 or nearby junction with Calverston Road that leads on to Cawston est. They are mobile so look for berries and check tall trees or tv arials. Mornings seem best before man kind flushes them off.

Kyle said...

Many thanks. Will have to see whether we get a chance this weekend.

Kyle said...

Gave it a try on Sunday from 0850 for an hour, unfortunately with no success. May have left it too late for this year but thanks for your help.