I headed down to the estuary this morning and it was a beautiful morning with clear skies and a lightish southeasterly wind. I couldn't help thinking that in a month or two months time similar weather conditions would be producing a good movement of birds, but this morning it felt as if everything was waiting for Spring.
Walking along the raised bank cloaked in Hawthorns it was quiet. There were signs of a dawn chorus, but all the wintering Blackbirds had gone, probably to the relief of the Mistle Thrush that now didn't have to defend it's Hawthorn tree so vigorously. I met Ian down at the estuary who told me that there was very little on the river, so it wasn't worth walking across the saltmarsh to look on the mudflats.
We had a look on the pool but it was quiet, two Gadwall were the only birds of note. All the diving ducks of recent weeks had gone. A Grey Wagtail without a tail headed high to the east and was the first true 'vis' passerine for me for the spring! A pair of displaying Stock Doves were a nice distraction and a flock of 120 Golden Plovers lifted into the air on the other side of the river.
We checked the reed-fringed pools, where we aim to hopefully catch and ring a few Snipe in the week, and there were 45 Snipe and four Jack Snipes. So that bodes well. At this point we were closer to the mouth of the estuary and out on some mud flats were a flock of 500 Lapwings and 300 Dunlin.
Overhead 120 Pink-footed Geese were high heading north, another bit of vis for the morning. And a further four Stock Doves hanging round some derelict buildings were also displaying. It would seem that everything, including me, is waiting for Spring.
Spanish sun - "Red Midday Sun" by Malcolm Downham The day was notable for two things a) a Pochard turned up at Middleton, almost the only one in the whole area and b) ...
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