Friday, 31 August 2012

Summer goes out with a whimber

After the excitement of the gull-billed tern last Saturday it failed to reappear that night, or indeed anywhere else in the country - still worth trying for exciting nuggets in the res still in any case.

Whimbrel was likely today's highlight - found by Andy Marshall and Derrick Venus on D res wall where it remained for a hour before being flushed by a female marsh harrier.  Its not often they put down on the reserve so a picture was called for even though distant:

In addition to the marsh we also had a female hen harrier over today too.  Common buzzard over Hempholme:

Two snipe were on South Marsh East tonight with two greenshank earlier.  It's well worth checking Tony's great shots of them and the Angus McBean hide on Flickr.  Another great count on Tuesday of a further 8 on the marsh, along with spotted redshank in what's been a bumper year for them.  Elsewhere common sandpiper, dunlin and several little gulls through on Monday. 

Check out Dave Ware's blog for a range of the reserve butterflies.  And thanks to Andrew Pell too for this range of kingfishers - still showing today by all accounts:
So what to look for this week? On the basis of John Wilkinson's 7 yellow wagtails on D wall this morning it shows they're on the move - turning the blog back a year shows when we had around three days of 'wagtail passage' on the approach road.  Always first thing in the morning numbers exceeded 200 and a check turned up a whinchat and many meadow pipits and linnet - but there was plenty of potential for better.  Apparently other reserves saw a similar phenomenon - one untested theory being that agricultural intensification and climate change is pushing the yellow wagtail population north, and we are now seeing these passages not previously witnessed.

Also worth checking the passerine flocks - plenty of goldcrests in now:

But again plenty of potential for better.  Another taster of things to come is the greylags on Hempholme - finding good grazing:

Whilst these may not set the pulse racing hopefully it shows potential for some of their northern cousins later in winter.

Reserve walk tomorrow at 10am (September 1st) for anyone wanting to take in some of the above.