* 4 Waxwings seen on route to Bev's *
A new year list begins at Bev's and I was able to get 2 visits in this week. The water level is extremely high, the banks on most sides have become submerged, the image above shows the island in March last year and the image below shows just the top remaining out of water. The grass verges are waterlogged, moving the Snipe further in. I counted around 20 or so that were flushed when I walked through, but one little snipe made me jump, when just feet away it took to the air only for it to drop straight down again, totally unlike the Common Snipes characteristics, this was my first new site tick of the year... the long awaited Jack Snipe...finally I had nailed it and worth getting wet feet for.
I then set about recording everything on site from the road to the river North to South. It was fairly quiet but the birds present needed to be added to the list if I was to try and break the species number from last year. The geese were in large numbers with around 300 Greylags, including the solitary Barnacle goose still in tow. A handful of Canada geese flew over, and the next notable species were the gulls. Mostly Black headed gulls and Common gulls.
Duck numbers were not as high as before and there were definitely less Gadwall present. Plenty of Coots but just a single Moorhen. On the second visit of the week I added Lesser black backed gull and in one group of Common gulls I counted 54 birds, definitely up on last year, maybe due to the depth of the water?
It was a lovely bright day on the second visit, and I did a double take when I heard a cricket calling from the grass behind me! Its not spring yet mate!
I had counted 41 species and there were some not present that I would of thought would be, so hopefully they will be added next time, ie; Little Egret,Teal and House Sparrow even, they are normally present around the house but only Starlings for now. I cant wait for the year to progress and maybe turn up a scarce bird or two, I just hope the water levels drop significantly or there will be a drop in nesting birds and passing waders.