Thursday, 22 April 2021

A few common firsts

 A trip to Abberton and Old Hall marshes in the week produced a few expected additions to the year list.

First off was a Green Sandpiper that I flushed from LDLH causeway where a pair of LRP have set up territory. A Kingfisher was seen from LB causeway and a Black Swan was with the large herd of Mutes. Two Nightingale sang and showed briefly along the old road where I also picked up my first Willow Warbler of the year. I heard a distant Cuckoo then saw it when it flew into trees along the edge of the reserve. Six Common Tern were seen in difficult conditions with the early mist.

Little-ringed Plover at Abberton

Old Hall is only three miles from Abberton and as I parked the car I enjoyed views of Barn Owl that was later to be seen on a couple of other occasions. A Cuckoo called and I added Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone and Spotted Redshank to the year list. Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and my first Reed Warblers were all encountered walking around along with numerous Cetti's and some Reed Buntings but surprisingly I still didn't hear or see any Bearded Tits despite the calm warm weather. Back at the car park I saw a Stoat cross the field which scattered a large Linnet flock.

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Reed Bunting

On Tuesday I managed to see the three Black-necked Grebes that spent a couple of hours resting on Roding Valley Lake which is a first for me on the lake. It's hard to think it was around forty years ago that I used to windsurf on the very same lake shortly after it was built as part of the M11 gravel excavations and my parents home is only a few yards from the path to the lake. The Grebes left overnight.

Black-necked Grebes at Roding Valley

The weed dance


Today I walked Gunpowder and found an influx of Common Whitethroat and a single Sedge Warbler before heading of to Fishers Green where I found a pair of Nightingales by the gate to the power station. Although very vocal they are difficult to see although with patience they can be seen if they're given some space. Hobby, Swift and Arctic Tern have all been reported in the valley this week but I saw none today. I'll try again tomorrow.

Year list now 162

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