Sunday, 10 July 2011

Godwit and a lesson in Wader ID

Two visits to Surlingham this weekend, a rather smart Black-tailed Godwit present both today and yesterday is new for the patch list. Also of note yesterday was a single Green Sandpiper, which I initially mistook for a Wood Sand! It was a rather smart looking bird, and at first looked quite delicate and dainty, just as a Wood should. Despite seeing plenty of Greens on the patch this last year, I am seeing them in all of their guises, and having poured over my Shorebirds book I can see how I made the mistake, and a lesson learnt! If I wasn't regularly watching a patch, I would not have had the opportunity to make such a balls up, and then correct myself!
The 2 Little Owls were showing well today, and nearby Ricky picked up a pair of Treecreeper- the third territory on the patch. 2 Green Woodpecker on the tree belonging to the Owls were probably youngsters, and 2 Marsh Harrier passed through. A total of 9 Lapwing were seen: 5 at Wood's End, 2 on the lagoon and one with a chick on the hill by the ruins. Great Tit broods were further evidence of breeding activity, and a Great Crested Grebe on the river had a single youngster.
In line with local sightings, there does appear to have been an emergance of Red Admirals, and I would suggest to a smaller extent Commas also. Speckled Wood being seen regularly on the reserve now, along with Ringlet and Meadow Brown. No sign of the Purple Hairstreaks this weekend, and no Gatekeepers as yet.
Picking up both Blackwit and Green Sand yesterday was a patch highlight for me, and although I like to think I 'watch' Surlingham regularly, I only really scratch the surface over the course of an average week. If I can come across goodies like the aforementioned by putting in 4 hours a week (approx), what else am I missing?! With the summer holidays fast approaching, I intend to maximise my time here for a short period and see just what I can turn up.

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