Sunday, 19 March 2017

Patchwork Challenge Trip 7 (19th March) 56 Birds

After a whole month away I was finally able to get back to the patch at Longham. It's a great time to potentially get new birds, as migrants are already on their way and they appear to be getting earlier and earlier.

Due to having no phone, I decided to record everything on paper, something I haven't done for ages. The bracing wind made it quite cold, but it went well and I began to list a large number of birds.

Just a few of the Mediterranean Gulls that were on the lake.
I was really hoping to see grebes in courtship, but I'd clearly missed the boat as nothing was happening with the few pairs I saw on the lakes. Coots were building nests however and there were a large number of Reed Buntings about. In fact, I saw around 8, which is a large number myself.

As I got to the corner of north lake I noticed that most of the winter ducks had long departed and only a few Tufted Duck were swimming around with the coots. Heading to the thicket I stood on top of the stile and spotted Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Wrens, Dunnocks, Robins and my first Bullfinch of thee year and my second on patch.

One day I'll get a half-decent shot of a Bullfinch. One day...
The walk along the back of the fields yielded Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Goldfinches and more Blackbirds and I heard the unmistakable sound and saw the back end of a Cetti's Warbler. My second new bird of the day.

Upon reaching the second stile I hopped over to check the empty fields. I saw around 37 Mute Swan and, surprisingly, three Redwings. I scoured the bushes desperately for the Fieldfares I'd missed earlier in February, but had no luck.

Nice to see the Redwings are still about. 
I received a surprise when I saw that one of the Great White Egrets was still around, awkwardly perched in a tree above the small pond at the end of south lake, but otherwise my walk was relatively uneventful. Walking towards the visitor's centre I thought I saw a Wheatear on the path, but I was unable to identify it as I lacked my binoculars.

The small island on south lake had a lone Shoveler and a large number of Teal, Gadwall and Tufted Duck, but all in all it was a pretty quite day. I'm still missing lots of obvious birds like Kingfisher, Rook, Kestrel, Common Sandpipe, Common Gull and Lesser Black Backed Gull to name a few, so plenty more to find.

Will never tire of taking photos of this bird.

My best Reed Bunting shot of the day.