22 April 2008

Two tick Tuesday...

A brief visit to (yes, you’ve guessed) Willington Gravel Pits this evening proved more than worthwhile with two more new species turning up for my “10-Mile List”.

Although the weather has been a lot warmer today the birds were not quite so easy to find this evening - just 44 species located in the hour-and-a-half I was on the reserve. I didn’t cover anything like the ground that I had on Sunday but, even so, it did make me realise just how good Sunday’s count of 73 species was.

Birds of note included 8 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 4 Goldeneye, 1 Goosander, 1 Oystercatcher, 7 Snipe, 1 Green Woodpecker, 7 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Sedge Warbler. The two new birds for my tick list were a Common Sandpiper that gave some very good views as it fed along the water’s edge, and a superb Hobby that flew in low over one of the pools just as the sun was setting.

The Hobby spent around 5 minutes hunting over the water, often flying close by, before it moved off over the adjacent farmland. The bird showed what looked to be some signs of feather damage on its rump and had a noticeable “bump” that could easily been seen as the bird flew around. This should provide a good I.D. feature if the bird is seen again. I’ll be on the lookout!

My “10-Mile List” now stands at 102 species.

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