Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Chiffchaff at last!!!!

Every Spring I look forward to hearing my first Chiffchaff of the year, but this year, thanks to the awful weather, I've had to wait a little longer than usual, roughly 2 weeks to be precise. Anyway, following a two and a half hour walk around the reservoirs this morning without any sign or sound of this species, I managed to hear one as I walked back up to the car park. Thank goodness!!!

Other signs of spring today included my first record of Greylag Goose for the year (1 flew up and down the valley), an adult Little Grebe on the bottom reservoir (my first since 1st January!), 3 Great-crested Grebes, including a pair displaying and "dancing" on the top reservoir, 6 Canada Geese (5 and the hybrid bird) and all the usual woodland birds singing away.

Canada and Greylag Goose (photo from 2009)

A Nuthatch was also noted examining a hole in a tree by the bottom car park. Hopefully it'll stay and nest there this year. I had a quick look in a couple of tit boxes to see if anything had been daft enough to start nest building, but guess what? Nothing had!

Just to show that winter hasn't quite given up yet, however, one of the most exciting sights this morning was an enormous flock of at least 300 Starlings, 100 Fieldfares and 50 Redwings, all feeding in the field by the main entrance. These are by far the highest counts of each species that I've ever had at Linacre and when I put them into the BTO's Birdtrack scheme, it started flashing at me and asking me to check the numbers! Other winter visitors still present today were Black-headed Gulls (26), 2 Goosanders (both males), which flew down the valley and several Siskin heard around the middle reservoirs.

Just before I go I'd like to say hello to the couple who I met today whilst walking around the top reservoir. It was great to speak to you both and if you ever have any sightings, please let me know via the comments section. Hopefully see you again one day.

Year List update:

99 - Chiffchaff

What will be my 100th species this year??????? Swallow? Willow Warbler?

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