Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Linacre in the sunshine - 9th March 2014

Sunday morning started sunny, so I decided to pop down to Linacre for a few hours. The temperature at 7am was already 7 degrees and the sun was shining. By 9am the temperature had risen to 12 degrees! My hope was to find the first summer migrants, but unfortunately it wasn't to be. Instead, I enjoyed a great walk with a lovely mixture of birds, and the first frogspawn of the year.

As I walked down from the car park I was surrounded by singing birds (Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Nuthatch, Goldfinch, Goldcrest, Woodpigeon and Wren!). A couple of Great-spotted Woodpeckers were drumming, and a Green Woodpecker was heard "yaffling". 

Waterbirds were becoming scarcer with Tufted Duck and Mallard numbers down to 13 and 38. There were just 8 Black-headed Gulls, but a big surprise was 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls that were feeding along with them!! 3 Cormorants were also present on the bottom reservoir, including an adult with a BTO ring on its right leg. This time last year a ringed Cormorant was also present- the same bird returning? If only I could read the number!!!1 Little Grebe was swimming around, while 2 Grey Wagtails were fighting each other around last year's nest site and another 2 were on the top reservoir. Coots and Moorhens were present in good numbers, 11 and 9, and 7 Mandarin Ducks, were together on Linacre Brook, east of the lower reservoir. 1 Grey Heron was spotted flying around the middle reservoir. Finally, two pairs of Great-crested Grebes were present and a couple of Canada Geese, including the hybrid bird returning for at least its 8th year, were found on the top reservoir (see here for details of last year's return).

Canada Goose and hybrid
The final birds of note were calling Crossbills, a singing Skylark above the top reservoir, and a female Kestrel in the same area.

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