Monday, 13 April 2009

13th April 2009

Should've known better than to go to Earlswood Lakes during a sunny bank holiday, but nevertheless I went during the late afternoon to find the lakes cramped full of people. Took me ages to get from the engine house to the causeway overlooking Windmill Pool because of all the people on foot and fishing, and a car which after racing along Engine Pool's northeast side had to reverse slowly and carefully back because 3 or 4 other cars had already come the other way. Only a few ducks and gulls were visible from the causeway, and there was nothing of note at Terry's Pool visible from near the park entrance either. Wasn't gonna waste hours of my time pushing my bike round the lakes, letting rude people pass, avoiding dog poo, witnessing people doing things they shouldn't, etc just for probably one or two warblers or hirundines, so concentrated my efforts at the quieter areas. At the scrubland south of Windmill Pool, saw 2+ Lesser Redpolls and 1 flyover Swallow, and heard 2 Willow Warblers and 2 Chiffchaffs (a third was still along Windmill Pool's south side). At the sewage treatment works, saw 2 Grey Wagtails on the filter beds. Returned to the lakes later on to find much less people about, but still nothing of interest apart from a Swallow at around 6:45 pm.
Back at home, saw a Rook flying quite high over my village - my first definite sighting of this species from my house.
M.P. Griffiths

P.S. the female duck that I thought was a hybrid appears to be a Mallard with a very strong facial pattern. Thanks to the guys on BirdForum who ID'ed her for me. See I still think she's the prettiest female Anas duck I've ever seen.

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