I joined Ian this morning for a sea-watch and in the 20 mph WNW conditions it was quiet. The highlight of the morning was our 'throng of throats' which were in fact a single flock of 15 Red-throated Divers reasonably close in heading in to the bay.
The supporting cast to the 'throats' included 16 Eiders, three Cormorants, 23 Common Scoters and a Red-breasted Merganser. The vis was equally quiet with eleven Meadow Pipits battling north east across the bay and two Alba Wagtails.
Chris arrived and said that he had seen a Wheatear walking down and we decided to go and look for that and have a walk to warm up. Unfortunately we 'dipped' on the Wheatear and didn't see a lot else on our walk. Did I just say "dipped on the Wheatear"? I don't know why we as birders get obsessed about seeing our first Wheatear of the spring, when in a week or two's time they will be everywhere. I think perhaps that they are the first real harbingers of spring, although for me the first rasping call of Sandwich Tern as it passes by is equally evocative!
Walk and sea-watch abandoned I decided to have a look at the pools by the saltmarshes and it was quiet here too. No Wheatears to report just a calling Cetti's Warbler from the reeds.
The forecast is similar for tomorrow, although it might be slightly warmer and perhaps a touch less windy. So I will be back at the obs in the morning trying to see that first Wheatear for Ed.
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