Monday, 28 March 2011

Scoping the scaup

A lot of good birds this weekend as the summer brigade is well and truly arriving. Highlight for many has been this drake scaup on D res found by R Cowley which arrived Friday and was still present this evening:

Next good bird was at least two common crane picked up by Paul Mountain flying over D woods – there could have been more but were masked by the canopy. It is a likely guess they are the same birds which have been flying round E Yorks and the Lower Derwent Valley. Paul’s other good bird was yet another red kite sighting – they’re now becoming nearly common - hopefully something that will continue.

Peak count of sand martins so far has been 55 birds over D res:

The next arrival has been the swallow – I was hoping this might be a first record but the HVWG boys bagged one yesterday:

The first marsh harrier of the new year was picked up over North Scrub on Sunday. There has been quite a movement of wagtails with 9 pied’s on Watton this evening and a smashing pair of grey wagtails on D res wall:

Grass snakes seem to be continuously swimming in North Marsh:

Rory Selvey was at North Marsh over the weekend taking in some of the wildfowl and Tony was at Watton getting some great roe pics again here. There is some thought the smew may have gone – with no sightings for a few days but we’ll see. The whooper and pink foot remain on South Marsh East though:

The sparrowhawk was eyeing up some of the 17+ brambling still on the centre feeders:

Also present today was the white-front and the drake pintail, with a mediterranean gull on D Res roost on Saturday. A few linnet were around South Marsh West at the roost:

Siskin were still present on Saturday – at least 10 in D woods:

Another nice sighting was this treecreeper – a lot being seen of late all over site:

Moth trapping turned up plenty of lead coloured drabs and small quakers:

Martin has further details on his blog of the catches – including a possible site first. And sat on the outside was this probable Netelia testacea – a parasitic wasp of moth larvae:

Yet again there has been more fighting with the moorhen taking on this black-headed gull on the marshes:

At the end of the day the big battle was this welcome sighting of a new barn owl – unfortunately it had a bit of a tussle with the white buzzard – a fine bird that from the sequence of pictures demonstrates just what a confusing bird it can be:

After that it then evicted two jackdaws from their box - which could only look in helplessly. I have heard that if an owl wants a box it will claim it - but this is the first time I have seen it:

Lastly the black rabbit was glimpsed today – collecting bedding material – so it looks like there may be more on the way…