Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Back to mid winter

I popped out to the patch briefly yesterday in the early afternoon, where I was greeted by a bitterlycold northerly wind and wet snow showers. It was miserable, and it looked hard going for the hirundines - there were 80+ Swallows and small numbers of Sand Martins sat in the potato field to the south of Ferry Lane Lake, along with 18 Yellow Wags. A single Common Sand, my first of the year, was at Mons Pool, along with another couple of Yellow Wags.

Another quick trip out this evening, and the number of Yellow Wags had increased further, with c.33 on the south side of Ferry Lane Lake and in the adjacent potato fields and another 8 on Mons Pool - but not a Blue-headed Wag amongst them! There were, however, 3 White Wags with a few Pieds. Other birds of note were a Hobby, sending panic through the hundreds of hirundines feeding over Ferry Lane Lake, and the Common Sand still on Mons Pool.  

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Four more

A quick look at Collingham last night added Sedge Warbler to my patch yearlist, whilst an early(ish) start there today produced three more; first was Swift, with three over Ferry Lane Lake, then a Cuckoo called briefly from the trees west of Mons Pool, and finally a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling from the eastern boundary of the the new workings (Northcroft Pit) - my first patch bird since starting Patchwork Challenge back in 2013. 

Not a huge amount else of note; no Wheatear, no Ring Ouzel, and no Redstart, but lots of hirundines (c.50 House Martins this morning and several hundred Sand Martins yesterday and this evening). Plenty of warblers singing around the site too.  

Sunday failed to add anything new for the year, although 3 Swifts were again present over Ferry Lane Lake, and 5 Yellow Wags were in the ploughed fields to the south (which I keep checking for a Wheatear...); one of these was a very ghostly-looking bird, grey above with the merest hint of yellow on the throat and breast 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

A glut of new birds

Having spent a fortnight in Mexico (of which more in future posts...), I managed my first visit to Collingham since 31st March this afternoon. As I was coming through Langford village, I got a text from Ken Lomas to say there was a Whimbrel on Ferry Lane Lake. Despite the best efforts of a dog walker, it was still there when I arrived; not an easy species and one I've missed the last couple of years. 

In addition to the Whimbrel, I added a further six new species for the year - Common Tern, Yellow Wagtail, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and House Martin. Ken had also heard a Sedge Warbler from the hide, but it was silent for the short time I could give it.

This pushes me on to 112 for the year at Collingham. Still plenty to go at!