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Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Valley


April 14th

I walked down at dawn just before 6.00am feeling none too clever after the excursions of the night before up the Railway, needless to say it was the monthly Birders drink, as usual I was suffering.
With my wife’s sentiments still ringing in my ears, “your nut’s” I have to say I agreed with her, I should have layed in, too late to turn back so I ventured forth into the wilderness.
Virtually the first bird heard as I walked in by St. Georges was a Common Whitethroat, a year tick no less and a very good start, good to see them in, like everywhere else migrants have been thin on the ground and most are late. I am yet to record a Little Ringed Plover over the Valley, I always get one at the end of March, not this year though.

Dawn - makes you feel better just looking at it

Walking on and more summer migrants gave themselves up, Yellow Wagtail over the Reservoir, a Cuckoo at Berwick Ponds, Sedge Warbler by the Black Bridge and a single House Martin over the viewing area, presumably the same bird again seen later over St. Georges.
Lots of habitat enhancement has taken place, not only along the river and adjoining fields but also St.Albyns Lake, the lake especially looks quite good, next year it will look a lot more natural when the plant growth has become established.
The viewing area as expected has raised its water levels with the recent rainfall, hopefully this will dry out just right for waders, with all the river work it should now not flood and spill over, with this it may again attract Redshank to breed.

Bullfinch - you never seem to get a clear shot of one of these

Chiffchaff

Willow Warbler

Other highlights included Common Buzzard, Peregrine, both were dots high up, 23 Golden Plover way up also and no less than 14 calling Cetti’s Warblers.

The best of the rest was –

Willow Warbler – now 5 singers
Chiffchaff – 9
Common Whitethroat – 5 birds in total
Red Legged Partridge – a pair in the middle paddock
Teal – still 3 pair hanging on
Blackcap – 12 singing
Bullfinch – 2 pair
Swallow – 1


Early next week should see the arrival of many more migrants; I was hoping for Ring Ouzel today and checked just about everywhere, especially both paddocks, again no luck, it has always been a hard bird to get in the Valley.



Peregrine - way up

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