Overnight rain had stopped by dawn though the strong south westerly’s continued throughout my visit to the pond with Bob.
Though cloudy, dull and looking uninteresting when we stood on farborough bank by the defunct visitor centre within minutes we were cooking on gas with 3 first summer Little Gull (adult summer seen later), near adult Med Gull, Little Ringed Plover, 8 of 11 Yellow Wagtails seen today and a White Wagtail. Yesterdays Stoat was seen in the same area again today and spotted by the Black-headed Gulls loafing on the pontoons and they took umbrage and started too flock over it calling madly.
I walked with Bob to toft bay and as he continued his circuit as I doubled back but was soon on the phone to the boy dragging him out of toft shallows to see a pair of very smart Red-breasted Mergansers that had just flown in – stayed about 10 minutes then disappeared though Bob relocated them two hours later off the valve tower just before they were flushed off by the windsurfers and flew off north. Luckily Bob managed a distant record shot.
distant Red-breasted Merganser by Bob Hazell
As I continued towards rainbow another 3 Yellow Wagtails, a White Wagtail and Rock Pipit appeared on toft bank before every health freak stopped them from feeding and they soon went walk about and a Raven flew over north. For me the bird of the day was my earliest record of a Cuckoo by two days at the pond that flew out of the country park and along the bottom of farborough bank.
The wind was still gusting up to 28mph by late morning so gave up on walking to rainbow and settled down in the sheltered part of the picnic area for lunch watching 300+ Sand Martin, 30 Swallow and 20 House Martin over draycote bank and ended up kicking myself for not spotting a Sandwich Tern that was on the surface about 200 yards off shore until flushed by a wind surfer and it flew off east. Must have been there for an hour and I never noticed.
Other sightings included Wheatear, 4 Goldeneye, 6 Gadwalls, 5 Wigeon, 10 Buzzards, Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker and Great-spotted Woodpecker plus a few warblers singing.
Common Gull by Bob Hazell
Met up with Mark and decided to check on Napton Reservoir where we managed Snipe, 40 Fieldfare, Chiffchaff, Swallow, 6 Reed Bunting, Cetties Warbler and Buzzard. A chat with a fisherman and he reported Curlew for couple of days last week.