Monday, 6 April 2009

Ups and downs, 6th April

After an abortive attempt at setting off for the Cornish Great Spotted Cuckoo last night (abandoned after deciding the weather was too poor for the day to be in any way a pleasant experience), I stuck local today. A pleasant walk with the dogs at Castor Hanglands (Cambs) was surprisingly productive. Undoubted highlight was a Hawfinch which was seen flying over the clearing near the main ponds; a totally unexpected sighting. It appeared to land, but did so out of view and despite searching, wasn't relocated. My first singing Willow Warblers and Blackcaps of the year were heard, and a few Marsh Tits were also seen. A Tawny Owl was noted in flight in the main woodland, a Siskin flew over, and Bullfinches were commonplace. Buzzards were also present in remarkable density, with at least five being seen.

Following a spot of lunch, I hit the patch. The weather had become a little more unsettled, with the breeze picking up and clouds rolling in. I had high hopes for some new arrivals, and as soon as I got out the car by the old wader scrape, my first BLGP Willow Warblers of the year were heard singing. At least three Buzzards were in the sky, and a couple of Little Egrets flew by. The Ocean failed to produce anything of real interest, but it was on my walk back to the car that the mega chose to appear - a splendid Egyptian Goose on the island on the old wader scrape. It may not sound much, but it's the first site record for almost five years, following a bird in May 2004 at Grummit's Scrape! The New Works were pretty standard; 5+ LRPs, 2 RPs, a Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Little Egret and so on. A second Green Sandpiper was in the Cross Drain, but there were none of the hoped-for Little Gulls.

Plastic fantastic.

A second visit during the evening produced much of the same, and there still weren't any Little Gulls. A real blow came as I arrived home; I discovered a whacking great bulge on one of the tyres - it appeared the tyre wall had weakened, rendering the car somewhat unsafe to drive. For a second night in a row, plans to head to Cornwall were aborted. I guess that's what some people call unfortunate.

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