Tuesday, 1 May 2012
April 30th 2012
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.