Thursday, 19 May 2016

The good times continue...

Tuesday night saw me popping down to the patch, hoping for a Sanderling, with all the records this time last year, it can only be a matter of time before one drops in, but I was unlucky this time round. However the Avocet that was reported earlier in the day was still present, the 4th record on site this year, and 3 Dunlin were present.

I also added several new birds for the year on Sunday, during a guided walk which had a poor turnout. A coal tit, singing near the carpark, 2 Lesser Black backs and 2 Hobby.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Some impressive migration

The last week has really seen migration picking up in the county. With the end of a bit of cold weather a couple of weeks ago, I thought that some late spring passage would start to occur, and it seemed to have done so in style.

On Friday, after a few Black Terns were reported in the county, a brace of Whiskered Tern graced Attenborough, and unlike many other previous records, these birds stuck about and I managed to get down after work to have a look. The birds showed well, either sitting on the deck for extended periods, or flying round feeding with numerous Common Terns and a couple of Black Terns to boot.

I had expected that it wouldn't be long before the Tern-fest reached my patch, but I couldn't really make it down over the weekend due to other commitments. However after one was reported on Sunday morning, I managed to get half an hour to bike down and have a quick look on the A52 pit in the afternoon. Looking from the eastern end of the pit, looking directly into the sun, it was evident that there were many terns present, but it was hard to estimate numbers without a scope and a better angle. I managed a count of 12 Black Tern, but knew there must have been more as I could see more birds in the distance. Later on I found that there had actually been around 50 Black Tern over the lake, an incredible count, even in comparison to the 69 birds that were at Lound the same day.

Things continued to improve, with a Great Reed Warbler at Netherfield (as well as another in derbyshire the same day!) as well as a little tern and BNG at attenborough. I considered going after work for the GRW but didnt really have time as I was heading into town to see my brothers band that evening. Instead I thought about going to HP instead for a quick blast, but last minute decided I would be cutting it too fine to be able to get to town in time. I wish I hadn't, as 2 Temmincks Stint were seen on Blotts, amongst other things, a much sought after patch tick!

It looks like its shaping up to be a decent week, as today seems to have been a bit of a wader fest in the county, with numerous sites getting records of gems like wood sand, temmincks and sanderlings. With it hammering it down all day, I was worreid I'd be getting a soaking, but wasn't going to let that stand in my way, but luckily by the time I got to the patch at about half 6 it had all but stopped. I got there just in time to pick out a flock of 18 Redshank, clustered together on one of the bunds on Blott's pit, and amongst them was a cracking summer-plumage Knot, only the second I've seen in the county and my first on patch. Also present was a Turnstone, a long-awaited county tick. Within a few minutes however they all spooked and flew off North, leaving the Knot behind, but that seemed to disappear shortly after.

I stuck around for a while, intent on picking something else up, and managed a Common Sand and a Ringed Plover, but nothing special!

Knot.... I need to sort my phonescope setup... or start remembering to take my camera out...