Sunday, 14 April 2013

At last migration!

What a day it was yesterday, its fair to say that the warm air has finally brought some migrants this way!

I had to do a breeding bird survey at cantley so arrived early, not long after I arrived I heard an unfamiliar piping sound which turned out to be 2 Little ringed Plovers (112) displaying to each other, good to finally connect with this species. Moving around the riverbank almost to Buckenham and a Willow Warbler (113) was flitting about in one of the trees.
I finished off my survey and decided to head towards Buckenham mill where I could see that the marshes were hooching with birdlife. 1st scan revealed nothing out of the ordinary (hoping for Gargany) second scan revealed a couple of waders in with the golden plovers- KNOT!(114) My first Mid Yare Knots were my prize. I then decided to carry on a bit to look down the channel when I heard the familiar utterings of a Sedge Warbler (115), it was in subsong just warming up, almost as if it were trying to remember the right order of its song. My ears then pricked up again as in the distance I heard the polite yar of a Med Gull (116) which did me the honour of landing on the pool having a little wash and then heading towards Strumpshaw, it was one of those cracking adults in full summer plumage- crisp against the blue sky.
As I got past the fleet I heard a call that was instantly recognisable but almost unbelievable at the same time a WOODLARK (117) was heading up the river yare! That took pick of the bunch, being a pretty rare bird in the yare with not that many (documented) records as far as I can see, but i guess they must pass through at some point each year.
I then went back home and my little family had a picnic at Ranworth Broad (one of the few pushchair friendly places locally!) Here we watched a number of Common Terns, at first I thought there could be an arctic or two there but at range I'm out of practice with their separation. We did have Willow warbler and blackcap singing round our picnic bench too which was good.
I still had not seen a hirrundine by this point though- not sure I have ever seen willow/sedge warbler before swallow! So in the evening I headed down to the reserve and sat in Tower Hide for about an hour. There were hundreds of Swallows(118) and Sand Martins(119) flowing through at quite a pace, difficult to put a number on it but the birds were moving through so probably at least 400 Swallows 200 Sand Martins and i picked out the odd  House Martin(120) amongst them too.

So all in all a very good day for the patch- yes it was inevitable that once migration kicked off the yearticks would come quickly but a 9 patch-yeartick day with 2 completely new for the patch is a good day in my book. It leaves me on 120 for the patchwork challenge too which is a bit more like it!

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