Saturday, 27 March 2010

Weekend News

I had about an hour to spare Saturday morning so I parked at the water works entrance to the Country Park and made my way towards the Divers' footbridge. I wanted to check out the adjacent small wood for Treecreepers but there was a fisherman in situ for the next couple of weeks judging by the amount of gear/camping equipment in evidence. Instead I walked up the path through the West scrub where I heard my first Willow Warbler of the year singing away in the direction of one of the Willows nearby. I don't tick 'em until I see 'em as a rule so I started to walk towards the trees when the alarm calls rang out and a feathered missile in the shape of a Sparrowhawk flashed through at treetop height. Of course everything disappeared and stopped singing, and who can blame them, especially the Willow Warbler, all the way from West Africa not even over the jet lag and ending up as a Sprawk snack doesn't seem at all fair to me.

As I emerged from the West Scrub I noticed a tent had sprung up in the bushes to my left, closer observation revealed a scattering of empty beer cans already adorning the area around it, how nice is that! Muttering under my breath I decided to walk around the edge of the West Scrub and back up the same path and have another go at seeing the Willow Warbler, which is where I saw Terry Laws who was also trying to locate his first of the year. Together we managed to hear one and then locate it close by. In 2008 my first sighting was 7th April and in 2009 it was 6th April, so either i'm getting better at finding them or this one arrived earlier..........the latter methinks!

After getting back home I went out to re-charge the feeders and while doing so my attention was drawn to a noisy fracas taking place overhead. I looked up to see a Buzzard being told by two Herring Gulls in no uncertain terms, that it wasn't wanted in the neighbourhood. Below are a few other visitors to the garden this weekend.








I got a call late saturday afternoon to say an Alpine Swift had been seen in the area of Castle Lake and Motorway lake. This area is viewable from my garden so as soon as I could I got out in the hope of a really special garden tick. Then the heavens opened spectacularly, I sheltered in the bottom garden shed after braving it for a while and getting soaked in the process but the view was restricted from in there but anyway the bird seemed to have moved on and my hoped for tick turned into a cross. I checked again first thing Sunday to see if it had returned but to no avail unfortunately, although I did see my first two Sand Martins over the garden, small compensation but never mind, there's always tomorrow.

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