Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A changing menu

Our sparrowhawk is taking his last opportunity to indulge in brambling before their imininent departure:

The male brambling particularly are looking excellent - just a few more days and we won't see them 'til October again...

Other hangers on still include the pink-footed and white-fronted geese on Watton and drake pintail on South Marsh East today, with two whooper swans seen on Sunday. No smew now for two weeks - so they have probably gone for another year.

'Just passing' species include the drake scaup - again still present today - picture here courtesy of HVWG:

Another great bird on D today was a Slavonian grebe found by the nest box team.

Resident species include this kestrel showing hope for breeding:

When filling up the bird feeders I unavoidably disturbed the moorhen - which in leaving its nest kicked an egg into the water. Feeling partly responsible I returned it and got my second welly full in 24hrs:

Within 10 mins it was back on the nest...

I couldn't resist another pic of the orange great spot which came through twice on Friday:

And this coal tit was making everyone aware of its territory:

Hopefully pochard will come up with the goods with this many on North Marsh:

The recent removal of three mink in three days from the reserve can only help their cause.

The main feature though has been arrivals however - only a chiffchaff pic to show:

But Saturday saw willow warblers arrive in huge numbers. Paul Mountain getting the first at 9.30 - by 10.30 on the reserve walk there were 3, and by the Sunday were 5 on the Southern site alone.

Next was blackcaps - none on Saturday but by Sunday they were all over site. The Morley's and Alan Marshall get credit for that one.

On Saturday we had 3 meadow pipit over on the reserve walk - later in the day Martin had 20+ over. Plenty of moths to see too as evidenced on his blog...

Wagtails have also been moving through - 26 pied's roosting on South Marsh West along with the first yellow of the year on Sunday. Also on the night was the first green sandpiper - again courtesy of Martin.

Little gulls have also been drifting through D res.

Finally you would have needed some good optics but these pictures were taken within a few miles of Tophill today at an undisclosed location by HVWG - hopefully it'll be in Tophill tomorrow...