Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Linacre 20th April 2011 - 2 Patch Year Ticks

Thanks to the Easter holidays I managed to get down to Linacre this morning. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with bright blue skies and I got 2 new year ticks for the site and evidence of breeding for Song Thrush and Blackbird.

The first year tick came in the shape of a singing Whitethroat in the scrub by the top reservoir. Unfortunately it wouldn't show itself, but here's a photo I took of one last year at Carsington Water.


 In the same area there were at least 4 Willow Warblers that were also singing and displaying and I managed to get some decent photos. Note the pale legs and prominent supercilium (stripe above the eye), which help to distinguish it from the very similar looking Chiffchaff. As well as these i.d. points, the easiest way to tell the two species apart is to hear them singing, as the Chiffchaff sings its name (here) and the Willow Warbler sings a very distinctive descending song. (here)

Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

The second year tick was a Lapwing that landed on the top reservoir whilst I was photographing the Willow Warblers. Unfortunately it only stayed for a few minutes and then flew off down the valley. Also on the top reservoir today were a Canada Goose and the hybrid bird, 18 of the 21 Mallard ducklings seen at the weekend and several Tufted Duck. 3 Great -crested Grebes were around, but I couldn't see any Common Sandpipers today (2 were reported on Monday - thanks Kathy).

Canada Goose and hybrid bird

2 Brown Hares were seen running through the woodland near the picnic benches, a Song Thrush was seen collecting food on the dam bank and a female Blackbird was seen collecting nesting material. Blackcap were heard singing and both a male and a fmale bird were seen. What a wonderful place this is!!


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