Saturday, 21 March 2009

Spring sunshine

Had a nice day bimbling around Beds with Carrie. First stop was the Old Warden raptor watch point. Two Ravens were in full tumbling and cronking display high overhead. These birds have massive territories with the same pair being responsible for sightings over quite a few square kilometres. One or two Sparrowhawks also up and a top count of 15 Buzzards.

The local pair of Peregrines were looking settled again, with the female sat in the box as we passed.

At Octagon Farm pools (the site of a proposed gypsy camp, we've just been told) a Water Pipit popped up and down again, before heading high towards Bedford Sewage Works. However no sooner had I lost sight of this bird, another came in from the east and dropped down by the same pool. This one had a lovely pink flush so was definitely a second bird. Several Sand Martins over, still seemingly few and far between still.

After some lunch, it was in to the brick pits. Coronation was first. The pit itself was far too full of water to hold much of interest, but 6 Buzzards kept us very entertained as they chased one another. One bird caught our eye. It was VERY similarly in plumage to a Rough-legged Buzzard from the underside. Unfortunately it was clearly not a Rough-leg, but it's one of those individuals that could fool the unwary if it was seen drifting high over them.

A quick sneaky peak at Quest revealed it looking nice for the spring. 5 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plovers, c.200 LBB Gulls, 1 ad Yellow-legged Gull, and c.30 Herring Gulls were all basking on the mud. No sign of the Ruff that was seen there a few days ago.
Desperate for an ice-cream, we moved to MVCP. Two Magnums later, we walked round the Pillinge hoping for the Wheatear and Cetti's. We found neither, and also missed Martin Green, who was sat in one of the hides we walked past.

As I couldn't go and play at the Stewartby gull roost (Carrie hates gulls) we ended the afternoon at Castle Mills. I bumped in to Nigel Willits and we walked round the south side of the pit. After the recent floods, and the ensuing massive water pumps that have been installed, this pit currently looks ace. However, it's wader attraction has peaked far too early in the season and it will soon be too dry again. Despite this, its got plenty of early season birds in it. The pick of the bunch was the Ruff. Nice pale orange legs and some gaudy spangling on its mantle it looked a smart bird next to the 15+ Redshanks that were also there. 2 LRP's and 2 RP's were also knocking around, along with 4+ Green Sands. A nice end to the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails