On 10th April a spoonbill arrived and was joined later by a second bird.
Since then I have been visiting the patch whenever I get a second. As I was away to Jersey for a long weekend last week, Saturday brought a flurry of year ticks. First off was this reeling grasshopper warbler - so much for being a skulking species, this one hadn't read the rulebook, it's been singing from this fence for three days!
It was amazing to watch at close hand, it's entire body vibrating when it was reeling.
Next up was a drake green-winged teal on the Budge fields. This bird had been around for a day or two, so it was nice to catch up with it - mind it took some finding! Other highlights on the Budge fields were three to four ruff, an amazing 28 whimbrel - which flew off when the cows arrived, a stunning brick-red bar-tailed godwit and a few blackwits. Also new for the year was sedge warbler, little owl and common tern.
On Sunday I had a quick around through the dunes to the north looking for migrants - it was very windy but a count of 15-20 wheatear in the grazed dunes was impressive.
|One of the wheatears|
I mentioned cows earlier - four have arrived on the Budge fields and the timing couldn't be better for the breeding and passage waders so 'Well done' to NWT. (seemingly, according to the local farmer they had been released last week but had escaped - anyway it is good to see them.
|One of the 'Druridge four'|
Enjoyed my first Green Winged on Saturday. Ended years of looking at thousands of Teal for a vertical stripe! Three Blackwits flew over at 0700. A Shortie flew low across Budge and, to my amazement, nothing panicked. I had nine Whimbrels fly in and out again. Loads of 'gundinking' male Shovellers.
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