I went to do some voluntary work with the Wildlife Trust as I hadn't been down to Besthorpe to do any work or ages so thought I'd check out what was going on. We were working out on the buffer lagoon at the Meering end of the reserve, and while there, a pair of Oystercatchers lazed about on one of the Islands. It was apparent they were nesting so hopefully there'll be some success there. One Little Ringed Plover was also present throughout the day. Round the pools were a lot of Warblers, mainly Whitethroat and Willow Warbler, but there was the odd Garden Warbler about too. I also saw around 4 pairs of Yellow Wagtail around the lakes too, my first in Notts this year, Besthorpe is always a good site for these beautiful migrants.
On the way down to the southern end of Besthorpe, I spooked a flock of Linnets, which were dustbathing and drinking from puddles, there must have been around 30 birds, good for a declining farmland bird this time of year. 2 Bullfinches were also noted on the way down as well. On Mons pool there was the usual thin scattering of geese, grebes and ducks, including 10 Shelduck, another species which does well here. The main focus was on Oystercatchers however, as a group of 4 birds were seen flying around, displaying and generally causing a commotion. Three birds were displaying on the islands, and periodically chasing each other around in flight, while the other bird mostly sat quietly. I tried to get some good shots but as I sat down to watch them rainclouds came in and the light was very poor.
I wandered round the other side of the pool, hearing a Lesser Whitethroat on the way down, and popped into the hide on the southern edge. One more Little Ringed Plover was noted, but little else, aside from a Reed Bunting on the bird table, and a couple of Reed Warblers in the reeds in front of the hide.
On the way down to Collingham Pits it started really pissing it down, but I pressed on. In the fields on the way I got great views of a Roe Deer, but sadly it bolted before i could grab my camera. I'd hoped for some good waders on the pits, but it had changed quite a bit from what i'd remembered down at the pits, as the last time i was here was around 2 years ago when 5 Temminck's Stints were present. The only bit of wader-ish habitat seemed to be very distant so without a scope it was extremely difficult to see much, and the rainclouds kept coming in lower, making visibility even crapper. another Little Ringed Plover, some Shelducks and a few Terns were all I could see so i pressed on towards Langford before the thunderstorms caught up with me.
Sadly the storms did indeed catch up so I only stayed at Langford for about 40 mins, mostly viewing over the Lagoons from the Northern path. Not much was noted really as the visibility was rubbish, but i did manage another LRP, some Oystercatchers, and the first Hirundines of the day, a shedload of Swallows and Sand Martins. There were loads of warblers too. I think it'd be good to return here when I have a bit more time and the weathers a bit better, as the lagoons do look really nice. Maybe a little later in the summer perhaps...