Monday, 5 May 2014

Tern deluge

Rockland Broad was finally on excellent form this afternoon, and I must remind myself of that on the days when I see only Coot. Reports of Arctic Tern from yesterday had me on the edge of the seat, for this was a year tick. Looking at the news from today, Black Tern had now arrived in force and there was always a chance of this species too. My luck was in, for amongst at least 5 Common Tern were 1+ Arctic Tern and 1 Black Tern. A great opportunity to observe the distinct jizz of these 3 species, and the marsh Tern will of course be a highlight of the year when I look back. Also still present was the 1s Little Gull, a real acrobat this little chap, although I had come across him a few days back.
Walking back, I heard a Gropper from behind the hide and at the staithe, my first Swift of the year was seen above.

Church Marsh was pristine and alive with our summer visitors this morning. Teal seem to have done one now, leaving Gadwall, Mallard, Shelduck, Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan and probably Tufted Duck to make best use of the lagoon. A little late this year, but 3 Lapwing have shown up at the back of the lagoon, 2 were calling and displaying early this morning. A Little Egret added a touch of class. 

On Star Wars day, I caught up with the Little Gull for the first time, who now appears to be lingering. Two Whimbrel passed through, with good numbers at Breydon I was hoping a couple might detach themselves from the group and head up river. 

On the 31st of April, further patch ticks in the shape of the glorious Hobby, hawking high over Claxton Marshes. Down on the ground, Two Wheatear were resting up on top of some of the piles of slidge presumably dredged from the surrounding dykes. Not just a patch tick these, but patch lifer! Although one of the benefits of living out here is being able to hit up prime spots when the time allows and the weather looks good. I am sure Wheatear are regular in the valley, but a first for me at any rate.

Finally, a mention of our garden. Debs heard a Cuckoo close by earlier in the week, taking the garden list to 61. We also saw our first Odonate of the year, a Hairy Dragonfly, beside the track leading to the house. What a pleasure it is to live out here. 

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