Sunday, March 21, 2010

An unexpected bonus

I met up with Gary at EIDB this morning with no great expectation of adding anything new to my year list let alone getting a lower Lea lifer, in the event I got two; the first a flock of nine Lesser Redpolls (also a patch tick for Gary) including a stunning male feeding in birches in the Eco Park along with at least ten Goldfinch, itself a local high count, and the second a group of four Jackdaws heading north at EIDB. On top of this Gary found two Wheatears on the Pura foods peninsula which soon turned into three along with a Black Redstart, thought to be a migrant and not the semi-resident adult male. Other highlights included a soaring Peregrine over the basin, at least one adult Yellow-legged Gull, a confiding pair of Reed Buntings, two Sand Martins busily feeding on a hatch of midges over Bow Creek and three Chiffchaffs including one singing bird. I made a second visit later in the day to coincide with high tide in order to check the wader roost, it held two each of Redshank and Common Sandpiper and the bulk of the 75 Common Teal still present in the area. As the light began to fade Greenfinches started to arrive at the roost in trees behind the Esso garage and I made a new high count of 72+ birds, several of the males were singing and display flying before settling down for the night; all in all a very satisfying day which initially seemed a little unpromising.

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