Sunday, March 21, 2010

Upton 19th and 21st

A late start at college so decided to head over to Upton in the morning.

Arriving at the flashes at around 9o'clock it was glorious sunshine and I quickly picked out an Little Ringed Plover, my first summer migrant and very much welcome. 4 Avocet, 6+Snipe, 2 Shelduck and 2 Oystercatcher were all present. Not long into the morning and I picked up 2 Sand Martin moving over quickly although they were heading  SW and I thought that was a bit strange? c30 Lapwing flew around setting up territories and 24 Teal flew off the sewerage pools at the back, 4 Lesser Black Backed Gulls passed over and a Male Tufted Duck appeared on the 1st Flash. 1 Raven flew distantly past the sewage works and was later seen soaring with 2 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk. Around 7 Buzzards were seen soaring on thermals around the flashes and a Curlew dropped in. 2 more Sand Martin flew over SW also and a 2nd winter Common Gull flew through. 

Heading over the Moors quickly noted the Little Egret present 4 Oystercatchers (2 birds from the flashes), the pair of Gadwall and 2+ singing male Cetti's. 46 Tufted Duck were displaying and pairing up and 4 female Pochard were scattered around. 18 Great Crested Grebe including several displaying pairs (and a bird still in winter plumage which made me think slav!) 2 Little Grebe came out from the reeds and only about 5 Cormorant were loafing on the island. An LRP dropped onto the Island for about 30secs before going back over the flashes and a 1st winter Common Gull hung around. 5 Pied Wagtails flew down but no whites in with them and a Green Woodpecker called. My first Chiffchaff was found flitting around the reeds down to the right of the east hide which was nice to see.

4 New upton year ticks takes me onto 80 for the year there.

A new job and a new year tick! Whilst at work I heard calling and drumming of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker then saw it high up in an oak! A nice little bonus whilst at work.

Back down to Upton this morning where we were welcomed by mist! Heard a Nuthatch call from within the Education Reserve but mist put pay to trying to see it! Could barely see a thing from the flashes hide but fourtunatly a single Redshank was in front and managed 4 Avocet and 1 LRP through the mist! A male Lapwing was busily creating a scrape on the newly mown grass in front and a Meadow Pipit called from overheard but the fog prevented my second possible year tick of the day.

Moving onto the Moors where a dead toad was in the road and a Chiffchaff was singing along the path to the east hide and was a notably paler more grey bird than Friday's. Only the one Little Egret was seen but two were seen yesterday, female Pochard had increased to 6, interesting that there all female? (Answers on a postcard.) 3 Herring and 3 Lesser BB Gulls loafed on the platforms and 1 Little Grebe moved out of the reeds. A fox was asleep again in the reeds in front of the fox fence! And 2 Shelduck flew back over the flashes.

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