Monday, 15 March 2010

Spring is in the air

From top: singing male Wren; female Sparrowhawk; Water Pipit; second-calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull; and Little Egret.

It felt very spring-like this morning, so I headed to Rainham early and birded the reserve thoroughly before decamping to the Ingrebourne Valley for a reported Penduline Tit. That was a no-show, so I headed back with another birder, Tom Smith, to check the barges at high tide and then the gulls on the dump and in Aveley Bay.

On this day last year I had the first Northern Wheatear of spring at the site, a cracking male, but attempts to repeat the feat today weren't successful. The wind was brisk at times and from the south-west, so not ideal fall conditions, though one wheatear did make it through to the west side of the city.

Nonetheless it was a good day, with at least 72 species, including Pintail (20+), Little Egret (5+), Common Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Ringed Plover (4), European Golden Plover (164), Common Snipe (20+), Yellow-legged Gull (2cy), Stock Dove (156), Rock Pipit (2), Water Pipit (1), Blackcap (3) and Cetti's Warbler (3).

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