Thursday, 1 April 2010

Ruddy visitors

Things were a little quieter at the beginning of the week with many winter species apparently gone including bittern and woodcock. Smew was prematurely discounted as it appeared again on tuesday - but is likely to go at anytime along with the brambling. The toad migration appears to be subsiding now with fewer seen. Little ringed plover continues to show fleetingly on Watton NR, along with the odd chilly looking swallow and sand martin. No further med gull reports - presumably it has had enough of all the gull squabbling on South Marsh East. Biggest rarity of the week was a ruddy shelduck reported yesterday on the marsh - but no further sightings today as of 16:00 - we'll keep looking. The photo above was our last visitor in September 2008 (HVWG) - the amur falcon turned up with the last one so here's hoping...! Again the native shelduck are quite territorial at this time - and probably sent the eastern european ruddy shelduck packing. Also on the marsh was a little egret again (photo by Jeff Barker from earlier in the year). An even bigger rarity was a young kittiwake on D Reservoir at dusk - an extremely uncommon visitor to the reserve not seen for several years. Keep an eye out on the BTO challenge page as I'll be totalling this quarters results in the coming days.