This morning

28 swans in the fields at Brookside/Rye Farm, a single Lapwing,  assorted geese and a Little Egret. A crow had a go at a Raven low by the Downslink & a Cetti’s sang from the bushes at the side. Only 1 apparently occupied nest in the little heronry. East of the Downslink a Reed Bunting sang its ineffectual song, 3 Lapwings tried to mob a crow, and 5 Linnets flew up from the grass. In the wet area were 2 swans, a Coot and a couple of Greylag. Another Cetti’s sang by the gate. Near Lepride a commotion from other birds alerted  me to a Peregrine scything through the trees!

This morning’s walk

Met John C at Hollands Lane at 8.30, but our departure was delayed while we sorted out what to do with “Duke” the roaming Labrador who didn’t seem to have an owner or a home to go to!  Anyway, having rung the owner and found Duke a temporary shelter with Leah at 3 New Cottages, we set off with Maya to meet Angela who was walking up from Small Dole and wondering where we were.

Wildfowl on the floods continues to decrease but we saw:

22 Shoveler

Approx. 30 of Teal

Approx 20 Wigeon

2 Gadwall (pair)

1 Shelduck

3 Black-tailed Godwits (nice!)

2 Lapwing

1 Little Egret

A few Greylag and Canada Geese

And – flying low over the water – 2 Swallows

Along the railway line we heard several Chiffchaffs and 2 Blackcaps singing, and got good views of both.  One of the nests in the little heronry had a sitting tenant.  The riverbank was pretty quiet.  Several Skylarks singing, 2 Buzzards displaying over Wyckham Wood and a burst of Cetti’s Warbler near New Inn bridge was about it!  Song Thrushes, Robins and Wrens all in good voice throughout, and towards the end we saw a Kestrel fly low across a field by Rye Farm and heard a Coal Tit singing.

Morning Walk

After a week away I was surprised how much water and how many ducks there were down on the Levels Sunday afternoon – though there was one bird less after a Peregrine zapped one that was far too heavy for it to carry away.  It sat on the field demolishing its prey.

Paula & Angela T joined me and Maya for our morning stroll in warm(ish) sunshine along the Downslink today to see what was about on the levels.  Two areas of water plus one very soggy field held reasonable numbers of wildfowl.  18 Mute Swans, 6 Cormorants, c30 Greylag, c 20 Canada Geese, 6 Coot, 6 Pintail, c120 Teal, c70 Wigeon, c25 Shoveler, 2 Moorhen, c10 Mallard and a single Little Grebe popping up and down.  There were 3 occupied nests at the little heronry, with one vacant.  When the estimated 8 Lapwing took off there were at least twice that number in the air, and about 50 Starlings appeared too.  We heard a couple of brief snatches of Cetti’s Warbler song, heard and saw two or more Chiffchaffs, saw probably 3 Buzzards, and just caught sight of a Sparrowhawk zipping along the hedge.  Wrens were in good voice too.  The warmth had brought out several bumble bees (Bombus terristris, Paula said), there were honeybees around a profusely flowering blackthorn at the Sandy Lane junction, and we saw two Brimstone butterflies – I saw another in the garden when I got home.

Very pleasant indeed!