The local patch at Holmethorpe again ... Tuesday 6th April 2010

A morning at the local patch fron 6.45am to mid-day was a little disappointing, as the wind direction had promised an increase in migrant numbers. Unfortunately a clear, moonlit night probably saw the migrants flying straight through.

The first birds that I noticed on arrival were a Little Egret in flight and a first-winter male Goldeneye on one of the pits, which quickly took flight. I went in search of the female Ferruginous Duck at the area known as The Moors, but again no sign of it, but that was to be expected I supppose.

On returning to the pits, a Little Ringed Plover was circling low and eventually set down on a mound. I managed to sex it as a female, as it showed brown markings in the dark area behind the eye and had a reduced breast band compared to a male. A phone call to Gordon Hay soon saw him ticking it for his year list and gaining his 100th species for the year at Holmethorpe. He is well ahead of the rest of the local birders.

At Mercers Lake we relocated the Goldeneye and, around the lake, there were 8 Chiffchaffs, 6 Blackcaps and 3 Willow Warblers. A much reduced number of Sand Martins and Swallows were present compared to yesterday.

Four Egyptian Geese were seen in flight and after Gordon left, a pair of Mandarins landed on top of a dead tree briefly, an odd sight, but as they nest in holes in trees, I guess it this is normal behaviour.

The female Little Ringed Plover had moved to another pit (identifiable as being the same bird by one pale flight feather on the right wing) but it didn't stay for long.

Two Bullfinches, 2 Shelducks, a Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk made up the best of the rest, but there were still a few Gadwall and Shoveler present and a lone male Teal.

Hopefully, a cloudy night tonight might encourage a few migrants to drop in tomorrow.


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