Sunday, 8 April 2012

Grey day

In more than one way...

Today was one of our monthly reserve-wide bird counts and the weather forecast wasn't terribly inspiring overnight. Thankfully the forecast rain didn't appear but it was very mcloudy and murky and the light was terrible. The wind has switched to the south and I was counting the Thornham Point section so I was hopeful of some migrants.
Things didn't start well as I found out that two shorelarks had been on the beach earlier in the morning and had flown west. I was walking the whole beach so hopeful of bumping into the them but unfortunatley there was no sign, not an easy bird to get back. In fact, the whole beach was very quiet and I only recorded 7 oystercatchers in over 1km of beach!
Things picked up a little once I reached the Point. The wintering 9 long-tailed ducks dropped in just offshore, the two males are now in full summer plumage, something I have not seen before. Heading to the tower to count the saltmarsh I flushed a pair of grey partridge (135) from the edge of the dunes. The saltmarsh, apart from a couple of RB mergansers was very quiet and I managed to miss the short-eared owl seen by Richard.
A quick stop on a bench overlooking the reedbed produced a swallow (136) west and a good number of displaying marsh harriers but not a great deal else. David has lucked in on a jack snipe that flushed out of the ditch when he sat down, a singing sedge warbler (1st of the year) and a male willow warbler.

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