More spring migrants at Holmethorpe Sand Pits ... Friday 2nd April 2010

Meeting up with Gordon Hay again at our local patch, we soon discovered that there had been an overnight influx of migrants around the pits.

At least 20 Swallows and around 40 Sand Martins were present, along with a single House Martin. Warblers were represented by 19 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers and 5 male Blackcaps.
The female Goldeneye was still present on Mercers West Pit, but hard to spot as it continually dives and spends little time on the surface. Other wildfowl seen included 12 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 8 Teal and 2 Shelduck that flew over, 3 Egyptian Geese and around 12 Greylag Geese.
Two Common Buzzards were together over the local landfill site and a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel were also in the local area.
Other birds of note included a Little Egret, 3 Common Gulls, a Grey Wagtail, around 15 Stock Doves, a pair of Pheasants, 7 Linnets, 6 Redwings and a flock of about 45 Goldfinches. A single Common Snipe was seen, along with 11 Ring-necked Parakeets and 2 Mistle Thrushes.

Although no new species were added to the Holmethorpe year list today, the increased numbers of migrants gives hope of something special turning up over the weekend.

A frustrating sighting was made today by local birder Richard Bartlett - a Raven heading east over nearby Nutfield Ridge, unfortunately just outside our local patch recording boundary. This is one of the species that is missing from the Holmethorpe Sand Pits site list, which stands at 205 species. A definite case of nearly ... but not quite!


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