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Monday, 2 May 2016

A Slow start to a song filled weekend

Saturday the 30th April and me and Mark thought we would have a mooch around North Cave Wetlands, it was a nice sunny morning if still a little cool so we thought it would be good to look for Adders on Allerthorpe Common as we passed, Linnets and Whitethroats were much in evidence but otherwise it was strangely quiet on the birdfront, no Adders neither although Mark managed to find a Slow Worm which was new for me. We carried on to and spent the rest of the day at North Cave Wetlands, highlights being Red Kite and Buzzards over, Mandarin on Reedbed Lake plus drake Garganey and Common Tern on Dryham Ings, we also spent quite some time being teased by a Lesser Whitethroat half posing. 
a few Whitethroats in

Slow Worm, not easy to photograph with the big lens


and Sedge Warblers at North Cave

GC Grebe on the nest

retreating drake Garganey

Lesser Whitethroat gave us the run around

Buzzard over
Sunday 1st May and it was down into deepest Lincolnshire with Mark and Paz and to Whisby NP in search of a certain songster, it wasn’t long before one started singing from the usual spot but there were long periods of quiet and it wasn’t showing well so we moved further along where we soon found another which was far more vocal and showy, we stayed with it a while enjoying the views and pointing it out to a procession of other birders who had been there since early morning and had been struggling to see one, we carried on and came across a Garden Warbler at the bottom corner of Teal Lake and while watching that another Nightingale started singing, that one also eventually showing well even seen feeding on the ground a couple of times, it was a lovely sunny morning and fairly warm in the confines of the reserve which probably accounted for the increased activity of these birds from earlier in the week, there were also a good number of Blackcaps around and a Mediterranean Gull was in the Black Headed colony but we were surprised by the total lack of Hirundines. After lunch we decided to try for the Dotterel that had been present at Edge Mount near Stocksbridge all week, we arrived on site to find a different day completely, it was grey, windy and very cold with an ever present threat of rain, undeterred we scanned the field finding plenty of Lapwings, Golden Plovers and a couple of Wheatears but no Dotterel but it was a big field and we noticed a road ran by the top end so we drove round and had a scan from there, a lot more Golden Plover up this end looking very smart in their breeding finery then eventually Paz got onto a paler looking bird, he got me onto it and I confirmed it was the Dotterel just not in the plumage we were expecting, it was a 1st winter, nevertheless it was still a nice looking bird and it eventually came reasonably close, a local birder turned up and told us of some nearby Ring Ouzels so we went off to look at them, we had at least three but they were distant and then the rain started. We headed for home calling in at Broomhill Flash en route to look at some Ducks we also finally got some Hirundines plus a couple of Swifts.
Med Gull having a go

first Nightingale

Garden Warbler singing his heart out

Nightingale No 2

smart looking Golden Plovers at Edge Mount

and this little fella

1st winter Dotterel

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