Saturday, 12 March 2016

Spring is in the Air

Walking around Linacre for the March WeBS count this morning with Luke, there was a definite spring-like feeling in the air, despite it being just 3 degrees and quite misty. The songbirds were in very good voice, the ducks were chasing each other around, and the Shags appeared to have moved on.

We started our walk by the Rangers' Base, where we had the first of several drumming Great-spotted Woodpeckers. As we walked down to the bottom reservoir we spotted a couple of Grey Wagtails ( 1 of which was singing), the first of 27 Tufted Ducks, and, best of all, a couple of Kingfishers. The Kingfishers, which were chasing each other about and flying up and down the south side of the reservoir, before flying off down towards the river, were, presumably a pair or 2 males in territorial dispute. Either way, very good to see. A Grey Heron was also present on the bottom reservoir.

Moving up to the middle reservoir, we had a very good count of 51 Black-headed Gulls, many in near breeding plumage, which was soon boosted by another 30 on the top reservoir. The first of 4 Great-crested Grebes were also spotted on the middle reservoir, and were seen displaying and nest building in the traditional site. The second pair, on the top reservoir, were present, but not showing any signs of nest building... yet. A pair of Mandarins were present on the middle reservoir, and, unusually, were eating bread with the Mallards (39 in total), allowing us to get some nice pictures of the male bird.

Mandarin Duck

In total, we spotted a total of 9 Mandarins today, including 1 pair looking at a potential nest site in a dead tree on the top reservoir.

Mandarin pair

Moving on to the top reservoir, we had 3 Greylag Geese fly over, and heard the first 2016 Linacre record for Skylark, with 1 singing by the fields on the north side. Coots and Moorhen were seen on all reservoirs, with 9 and 11 seen respectively. No evidence of nests yet though.

No comments:

Post a Comment