There has been some cracking spring weather this week and it has felt more like early May, than late March.
Goshawks are still putting on a fine display in the forest, although the females are less conspicuous now, presumably as they settle down to breed. Crossbills have fledged young and are reasonably easy to find and there are lots of Siskins about.
In two visits to the LDV this weekend, there were still plenty of winter visitors in evidence, including two Whooper Swans on the refuge at Wheldrake and small numbers of Redwings and Fieldfares kicking about. There are lots of ducks still on the rapidly diminishing floods but numbers are dropping. The Black-tailed Godwit flock has been building up as more passage birds arrive to stage here before heading up to Iceland. Among them are still small numbers of Ruff and Dunlins, with the former starting to moult into their breeding finery. On the arrivals side, Chiffchaffs are everywhere and a singing male Cetti's Warbler was a surprise at East Cottingwith but surprisingly there were no Willow Warblers or hirundines about. Two drake Garganey on the refuge were a fine sight, even though they were quite distant, but best of all was on Sunday evening when walking down the riverside, I heard the bugling call of a Crane! A little later I managed to scope the bird at a distance as it strode about in the floods, feeding. Bird activity was incredible at dusk with Lapwings, Curlews, Snipe and Redshank all displaying whilst Water Rails squealed from the reedbed.
Two drake Garganey - honest!
Nearer home, the small colony of Yellow Star of Bethlehem just about clings on despite being swamped by a huge pile of gravel and dirt dumped by the campsite. I will be contacting the parish council.