Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Patchwork Update - April/May

It has to be a double-month update this time round, as I've been struggling to get to the computer to do anything for the last few weeks.

I'll start with April.

Species: 103
Points: 110

Additions this month:20
House Martin, Blackcap, Swallow, Nuthatch, Grey Partridge, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Swift, Common Tern, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Avocet, Whimbrel, Cuckoo, Grasshopper Warbler (...phew!)

As hoped for, I managed to get my 20 species for the month, leaving me on a par species-wise with 2015 by the end of the month. A lot could be said for April on the patch, but I won't drivel on too much. In general it was decent, but felt a little sluggish in comparison to last year, with numbers of scarcer migrants seemingly lower and the early passage of waders being quite slow.

Highlights included some patch firsts, such as the long-awaited Nuthatch, as well as some more exciting stuff such as Whimbrel, Avocet and Gropper. The usual spring stuff came in as expected and the only disappointment really was the comparatively low numbers of Yellow wags, and the fact I missed several wheatears, so I'll have to hope for some autumn birds later in the year. 

And May...

Species: 113
Points: 123

Additions this month: 10
Ruff, Black Tern, Turnstone, Knot, Temminck's Stint, Greenshank, Dunlin, Coal Tit, Lesser-black-backed Gull, Hobby

May started out pretty well, with some proper nice birds finding their way onto the site. A group of 4 Ruff one evening started things off nicely, before the weekend saw a load of Black Terns invading the county, and I saw the beginnings of a spectable of over 50 on the A52 pit, one sunny Sunday afternoon. The week that followed saw lots of waders passing through the county, and a particularly miserable couple of days had them dropping in to inland waterbodies. Holme Pierrepont got a share of the action, as I came across a group of 18 Redhsank, with a turnstone and Knot in tow. The same week saw 2 Temmincks Stints on the reserve, which stayed for 6 days and drew plenty of birders onto the site.

I managed a few 'expected' additions too, including some Hobbys, the first of which I saw whilst leading a guided walk on the 15th.

After this however, things quietened down. An Avocet on the 17th provided some variety, but with little else passing through, my visits started to dwindle, coinciding with becoming a little busy with work and life to visit the patch reguarly. In the few times I did visit the patch in the latter half of the month, the onlt things keeping it fresh were the Lapwing and Oystercatcher chicks which have been raised on site.

So there we go, not a bad couple of months, but with an expected lull in the weeks approaching June. Some missing birds (for me) inlcude Wood Sand, the godwits, and Sanderling. Perhaps the autumn will provide some decent stuff. i'm reasonably happy with the points total however, and I'm easily going to match, if not surpass my 129pts of last year, without too much effort.

I only added one bird last June and by that time I was only on 105 species, so not really sure what target to set, except to get down there as much as possible and to hopefully pick up some early summer specials before the autumn passage begins again next month!