Thursday, 28 April 2016

April Patchwork

I've had a few opportunities over the last few weeks to get to Barmston and Ulrome for some Patchwork. Rather annoyingly I havent quite reached the ton in terms of points but I have added a good few migrants including the odd wintering species which had previously escaped my notice.

I am now up to 84 species and 97 points which is one point off last years effort at this time. Saturday 16th April was my morning off the swimming run and I made hay by heading to Barmston. There was very limited movement but a wander got me a pair of Tufted Ducks. A surprise chance to hit the patch up on my birthday (19th April fact fans) saw my first proper migrants on patch with Swallow, Sand Martin and Sandwich Tern all recorded. Grey Heron was also new for the year with a bird rowing north offshore. A brace of Teal were on the sea, as were three Shelduck and two Shag.

A brief after work visit on Friday 22nd April wasn't overly productive with unfavourable winds but a much wanted patch tick was recorded as a male Marsh Harrier passed through North. Some extended effort on Saturday morning say two Barnacle Geese fly north along with two Whimbrel later on. There were also two Whitethroats back on territory at Barmston.

At Nafferton a few walks and general buffonery have yielded my first village Lesser Whitethroats including one in my garden. No sign yet of the Kingfishers but the Little Egrets are still about. Rather frustratingly I found out that one of the Great White Egrets that visited Kelk and Lowthorpe over the winter was present for a week in January in the village. Gah! It even sat in the field 200m from my house. Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers have been typically gleaning and nectaring from the Blackthorn blossom in the garden. A wander down Nafferton Carrs brought me to the old Mill Pond in Wansford and here there was a good selection of wildfowl including 8 Wigeon and 5 Gadwall. At least 8 Lapwing and a brace of Oystercatchers were also noted on the floods looking like breeders.

Finally I undertook the Heronry census for the Foston - Wansford Heronry a couple of weeks ago with 18 pairs present on apparently occupied nests. The sub-group away from the main colony has gone by the wayside with the trees falling over the winter.

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How brains and birds become mutually exclusive