Monday 4 April 2011

Hang in there

Wheldrake after work. Checked loads of likely fields on the Crockey Hill road looking for grounded migrants, but none visible. Lots of Red-legged Partridges and several Lapwing noted. On to the Ings; the light was stunning, with big black clouds over the Wold edge and the vivid greens of the fresh hawthorne and willow leaves. Really stunning in the golden light.

Gave the place a good grilling and found my first House Martins of the year. At least two Willow Warblers now singing. Only three Blackwits on the refuge. Alan texted to say there was a bunch down at North Duff, which explains their absence. A timely flypast by the local Sprawk pushed all the Teal on to the open water - now is my chance to find a Garganey or better I thought, but sadly not. Decided to follow-up Russ's news of Wheatears on Bank Island having failed to find any of my own. Headed down there worrying that the light was going, but fortunately two male and one female Wheatears were showing well around the scrape. Smart birds as always - thanks Russ. A couple of others have been found down at NDC by Andy, so obviously a few grounded by the bad weather.

Found a four-part article in Yorkshire Birding about yearlisting in the York Recording Area. The author, Darren Starkey, amassed 170 during the year. He had 120 by the end of March. So, my paltry 116 is way off the pace. Nevermind, there are plenty of months to go.

Following one at Flamboro' yesterday, I received news of an Alpine Swift in Harrogate, which has roosted on the Copthall Tower. Now, I have seen several in the UK and even one in Yorkshire before, but this has got to be one of my favourite birds and I am beginning to feel a little twitchy...

My last Alpine Swift in the UK. At Seaton, Dorset in 2006. One of three. The other two were much more active!

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