Holmethorpe Sand Pits ....12th-16th April 2010

The past few days have been blighted by chilly breezes from the north-east and this seems to have slowed the spring migration down. It has not been all bad news though.

On Monday the 12th April, Gordon Hay found a Water Pipit, still pretty much in winter plumage - a scarce bird locally, and on the same day my wife spotted a large bird of prey heading from the local patch over our flat, dashing to the window I was greeted by the sight of an Osprey heading north-west. Two Green Sandpipers were also at the pits on the 12th.

At least Common Whitethroats were present on the 13th and an evening stroll with Gordon Hay and Neil Randon, on the 14th, turned up the first Lesser Whitethroat and Yellow Wagtail for the year at Holmethorpe. Sand Martins were in evidence with about 25 birds present.

The 15th proved to be a fairly quiet day, with little out the ordinary but I did find a few butterflies - one Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacocks and a Comma.

The 16th saw good numbers of Blackcaps, with at least 18 birds, all but three being males, and 12 Chiffchaffs in the local area. In addition, there were 2 Willow Warblers and a single Common Whitethroat. Two Green Sandpipers were around the pits and hirundines were represented by 2 Swallows, 9 Sand Martins and 2 House Martins. I also found my first Speckled Wood butterfly of the year.

The weather forecast shows that the winds are going to veer to southerlies late on Saturday and then veer back to north easterlies on Sunday. Hopefully, Sunday morning may see a few more migrants arriving (maybe!).


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