SITE NOW CLOSED AND CONTINUES
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
On our arrival at the pond there were two separate groups of Common Scoter with 5 female & 2 male in one group out in the centre and 3 female & one male off the inlet. Later they joined as one group and became mobile also present were 4 Black Tern but they did not stay long.
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Another dose of heavy rain and easterly winds so spent the time at home till it stopped around 2pm then Bob and I raced down to the pond hoping something might have arrived. Over 50 terns were counted out in the centre when Paul Hyde reached us to tell us he had found a Roseate Tern from the south side and had legged it round to let us know. What a hero and our grateful thanks. The three of us spent ten minutes trying to locate it among the 54 Arctic and 12 Common Tern till I spotted it sitting on H buoy off farborough spit where it showed giving decent scope views before joining the terns again. Later a heads up from birders in the wind surfing area put us on to the bird resting on buoys in front of the sailing club and treated to more terrific views. A county and Draycote tick for me and far as I’m aware only the second record for Draycote with the first in May 1969 although there have been a few possibilities since then.
O what a difference a day makes The day started with the rare opportunity since Easter to observe the night sky’s managing one meteorite or a piece of space junk burning up low across the north eastern horizon and having 3 Swifts over the garden as I waited for my lift. With a blustery east wind and plenty of sunshine at least 500 Swift were feeding over draycote bank while Wheatears were plentiful with 17 counted on farborough/toft bank and a further 5 seen by Bob elsewhere. Although only 10 were seen on my return a couple of hours later from toft shallows due to the numbers of joggers and walkers making up for yesterday the male to female ratio had changed so 22 has to be the minimum number present. One showed characteristics of Greenland Wheatear but I’m never 100% with this sub species. No sign of any Yellow Wagtail other observes had seen them but 6 White Wagtail present while on the wader front there was 2 Little Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper. Out in the centre single Common, Arctic and Black Tern disappeared around the same time the majority of the Swifts did as it warmed up and this attracted at least 3 Hobby over toft shallows as the Swifts flew east. Whitethroat increased to 6 and I saw my first Garden Warbler here though I thought I heard one last week. Other sightings included Peregrine over the car park as we were due to leave, Sparrowhawk, 10 Buzzard, 2 Teal, the long staying female Goldeneye which could be injured preferring to swim away when disturbed and spending long periods out of the water although it looks healthy. Water levels have shot up with the island gone along with half of farborough bank ledge. A few butterflies on the wing with 6 Orange Tip and one Red Admiral seen.
Yesterday was another multi visit day to the pond as the place was battered by a bone chilling wind with gusts of up to 50mph making it extremely difficult to walk in along with long periods of torrential rain which soon had us drenched, eventually eased a little and the front cleared by early evening. At least one adult Kittiwake and 2 Common Tern, plus Dunlin, Little Ringed Plover, 5 Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, 20 Yellow Wagtail, 8 White Wagtail and 2 Teal. What made the visit interesting if not already was finding 18 Wheatear due to large numbers arriving in the area since last Friday. On our arrival at 7am there were hundreds of Swallows along with tens of Sand Martin and a few House Martins trying to shelter from the conditions perched on the boulders and wall of farborough bank allowing close views of the various shades of chest colour. At least 2 showed a bright reddish wash so presumed to have some eastern influence in their parentage. Later on they were feeding by just skimming the surface, one or two got caught out by the waves and ditched, being shorter winged than Swifts they survived as did one that got blown through the branches of a tree.