Monday, 7 April 2014

4th to 7th April

April 4th
Another poor start to the day visibility wise though the change of wind overnight finally shifted the low cloud by late morning. Both Tawny Owl and Canada Geese heard while closing my trap down and another 5 Canada Geese seen while waiting to be picked up.

Draycote was not as good as we hoped so my walk with Bob and Keith only produced Long-tailed Duck with 11 Goldeneye, 70 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing and yesterday’s Scandinavian Rock Pipit though this was being kicked from pillar to post by pram pushers and walkers and became elusive though relocated later by Paul and Martyn. I left them to meet with Dave at the spit and they did well to find a Blonde Red-crested Pochard male. Only other birds of note were 3 Gadwall, 8 Teal, Long-tailed Tit and 4 Reed Bunting.

We gave Napton on the Hill a look managing an impressive 21 Raven, 9 Buzzard and Sparrowhawk.

April 5th
The pond still had yesterday’s Blonde Red-crested Pochard which indicates it came from a captive breeding stock. Internet sites show some for sale at 50 quid a pair. Same site were selling Falcated Duck for £150 a pair, Blue-winged Teal at £40 each and Garganey £30 each. Long-tailed Duck still present while migrants included Yellow Wagtail, Willow Warbler and Swallow. Other sightings included 3 Gadwall, 8 Teal, Treecreeper and 5 Reed Bunting.

Napton on the Hill had Brambling over + Redwing while Chiffchaffs had increased.

April 6th
Another brief look at pond before the sponsored walk started produced 2 adult summer Little Gull, Swallow and Long-tailed Duck. Lots of warblers singing.  Only other sighting of note was 2 white Rabbits near Tomlow.

April 7th
With the forecast for rain it was a game of two halves at the pond interceded with a trip to Sainsbury’s while the heaviest of the showers fell. Little Gulls featured heavily today with a good passage building up by the time we went home, 4 adults and a first winter at 8am, 7 adults at 11am and 11 adults and two 1st summers present at 1pm so at least a minimum of 14 today. Not a lot else though – Long-tailed Duck, 6 Sand Martin, 7 Swallows plus a single Gadwall and 4 Goldeneye. Very few passerines noted and not much singing.

This barmy Canada Goose must be a first time nester – no nesting material apart from droppings and 4 eggs laid over the last 5 days and only just started incubating today.
pic by Bob Hazel

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