Sunday, 10 April 2011

Spot the difference

A clear night and a sunny Saturday morning brought a number of new arrivals to Prestwick Carr. Down the bumpy road at least six Willow Warblers were singing and there were some vigourous territorial disputes as a result. As I passed the pine copse there was a brief snatch of grasshopper but I waited for ten minutes and it wasn't repeated so headed on up the range track where two Wheatear were in the horse fields along with 20-60 Golden Plover depending on how many were up in the air as the lasses disturbed them whilst retrieving their steeds. 20 Curlew grazed in the far corner and Great Spotted Woodpecker called from the wood. As I passed the sentry box the reeling started again from my right and a definate Grasshopper Warbler had returned to the patch. Further up the bridleway more Willow Warblers sang.

I checked the fallen tree and there, tucked underneath out of the sunshine was the Tawny Owl and above him in the tops of the taller standing trees the male Redstart announced his arrival in song. A Pied Wagtail prospected the ruin for a nest site but sadly I had to leave without persuing the Redstart for a pic as the sentry had arrived and shooting was about to start. I headed along to the golf Course flushing a Moorhen out from beneath the bridge at Prestwick Mill as I scanned the sky for Swallows without success. In the birch copse near the course a Chiffchaff gave its song in between boughts of flycatching fom the tree tops. Good job these birds sing because I can't tell them apart very successfully!

Then back home with the list having progressed to 81 and straight into the car for a trip to Cresswell and having picked up four of the Avocets the bonus was two White Wagtail, two Yellow Wagtail and a pair of Pintail. I met Graeme and Les who advised the American Wigeon had just returned to the pond so we headed for the hide but were told be a kindly chap that the bird had been disturbed and flown out to sea. So..............we did a bit of seawatching without success other than normal Wigeon and a couple of Red throated Divers along with a pair of northward bound Swallows. I returned to the hide and lo the American invader had returned so and there it was in the middle of the pond. After telling the chaps I spent an hour waiting for it to come closer but to no avail so the craptastic record shot above is all I got. Never mind a good day all in all.

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