Friday 15 April 2011

Into the valley

Avoiding Adelaide's second party, I legged it down the valley. Not much on Bank Island, though a fair bit of water present. Wheldrake looked glorious with drifts of Cuckoo Flowers across the meadow and a patch of Snake's Head Fritillaries, which I suspect has been planted...Not much water left, but some in front of Swantail and on the Sanctuary. On reaching the pool hide a buteo went low across the Sanctuary away from me. To my surprise it seemed to have a pale uppertail with a dark end and what I could see of it's belly looked solid and dark. As it went out of sight, I ran down the path towards Swantail and saw it intercepted by two other buzzards which hassled it until it disappeared to the east. Almost a Rough-leg, but just not enough to clinch it. Bugger! The two Buzzards circled round for a bit before dropping back into the trees. The other bird never reappeared.
Little else of note apart from stacks of Willow Warblers and two Sedge Warblers.
Down to Duffield where water was non-existent and hence no birds at all.
Tried a new place, Heslington Low Lane, to view over the big lake that has been created in front of the new university buildings. Looks awesome, with lots of scraped earth, muddy puddles and a big linear lake to attract migrants. A large flock of hirundines, mostly Sandies were over the water. Shortly I picked up a largish pipit next to a muddy puddle, nice, a Water Pipit. Not the brightest I have seen, but nice nevertheless. Later, a pipit and wagtail flock revealed 2 White Wags and my first Yellow Wagtail of the year. Another largish pipit appeared briefly, looking suspiciously like a littoralis Rock, but sadly it disappeared behind a ridge and didn't reappear before I had to go. Definitely a site to keep an eye on. Other birds of note inc a flock of c50 Linnets, a dead Shelduck, with two Great Crested Grebes and two Tufties on the lake.

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