Despite a busy day ahead I took advantage of a warm night to arrive at the pond before dawn where a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling along the south east hedgerow of toft bay and Little Owl perched on the telegraph pole in the sewage farm.
Two of the 4 Common Sandpiper seen this morning were on toft bay bank and with no disturbance the elusive male Blue-headed Wagtail made an appearance with 12 Yellow and one White Wagtail near the visitor centre plus 2 male Wheatear.
I could not hang around so quick circuit produced another male Wheatear and White Wagtail on draycote bank, 2 Whitethroat and 2 Little Ringed Plover on the inlet and 4 Brambling near dunns bay.
I arrived home in time to check my trap with first for the year Red Twin-spot Carpet, Eriocrania Subpurpurella and Garden Carpet plus 2 Brindle Beauty, Brimstone, Purple Thorn and Early Thorn among 11 species.
Dave picked me up and we headed for Cathiron meeting up with Terry to watch the Princess Elizabeth pulling the Cathedral Express to Chester. She sounded terrific as she approached with all cylinders firing.
Princess Elizabeth passing Cathiron by Terry Southgate
I was under strict instructions not to eat by she who must be obeyed as she had laid on a spread for a family gathering with my sisters and brother-in-laws. Nice girls but personally I would have sued the surgeon so once Dave had satisfied his desires it was a quick look at the marsh with plenty of Whitethroats around but little else.
The rest of the day spent with the family and it was very enjoyable with brilliant food served med style so dinner lasted over 5 hours including a break to walk down the canal to the locks at Hillmorton and watch the “princess” return in the evening - a lovely day