Friday, 20 April 2012

More Migrants

The last few days has been very productive as to catching up on summer migrants.
The Ring Ouzel I found at Ravenstone Sewage Works had stuck around and had drawn in birders from all around. This proved very useful as the extra pairs of eyes had found a very smart male Redstart at this site on Monday which I managed to get down to see.
The Wheatear total rose to 7, more Yellow Wagtails were seen and another Ring Ouzel appeared briefly.
male Wheatear

female Wheatear

 On Wednesday afternoon it rained heavily so I set off on a twitch to a place called Willow Tree Fen, near Spalding in Lincolnshire.
 A Black-winged Stilt had been making it's way slowly across country, stopping off in Oxfordshire, Rutland and now Lincolnshire. I had seen this species in England before, but Sammy the long staying bird at Titchwell was rumoured to be an escape from nearby Pensthorpe, so I thought I ought to make sure I had seen a genuine wild bird.
 It wasn't a lot of fun driving through the rain, but after an hour and a half I arrived at this very bleak out of the way reserve.
 There were 4 other birders just leaving who kindly pointed out the general direction of the bird, which was stood in some flooded pools about 200 yards from the track. I stood watching for some 20 minutes or so and this creature hardly moved in all that time. My viewing was cut short though as the heavens opened again and I beat a hasty retreat.
 A real shame, such a lovely bird, so far away, barely active and then the viewing time was limited.

 Thursday morning saw me back at Willen where I saw my first Reed Warbler and Sedge Warblers of the year. The spit held a couple of Little-ringed Plovers, an Oystercatcher and the now usual Barnacle Goose.
 On South Lake 3 Waders on the ski-tow boardwalk rose my excitement for a while but these turned out to be only Redshanks. There were a couple of dozen Common Terns on the lake and it was while looking at the Redshanks I noticed one of the Terns sitting right in front of them was shorter necked, had noticeably shorter legs and much longer tail streamers - an Arctic Tern !
A very distant photo of the Redshanks with the Arctic Tern sitting in front of them (definitely one of them photos you have to click on)



 A bird I also stumbled upon was this tired looking White Wagtail.

White Wagtail

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