Thursday, 14 May 2009

14th May 2009

The local Song Thrush woke me up really early this morning with its singing, so decided to cycle down to the lakes much earlier than usual, getting there at c. 5:45 am! Wasn't really worth it though as there was quite a lot of fog over the lakes and no sign of any Black Terns, but I did hear a Cuckoo calling to the east of Windmill Pool, apparently moving northwards, and saw 3 Pied Wagtails. At Terry's Pool, the Mute Swan was still present, and a male Bullfinch was also seen. I heard the previously unidentified warbler singing from one of the Engine Pool reed islands again, and managed to see the little songster distantly and very briefly on five or so occasions during 20 and 15 minutes of scanning the reeds; having listened to its song as well, I'm pretty sure that it was a Reed Warbler (lifer!).

At c. 10:15 am I heard an unfamiliar call then saw a plover (Charadrius sp.) fly over the causeway to Engine Pool then U-turn back to Windmill Pool, over which I lost it; I can't really remember what the call was like (idiot!) but listening to calls on the RSPB website, and judging by the bird's size, I'm leaning towards Ringed Plover. Not being familiar with these birds in flight, I spent the few seconds I had looking at its head when I should also have had a quick look at its wings (for wing-bars, or lack of wing-bars) - I still have a lot to learn. I then spent some time checking out the spots where I've seen Common Sandpipers, but had no luck relocating the plover. Interestingly, 2 Ringed Plovers were reported at Shustoke Reservoir (Warwickshire) today, where I don't think they're often seen.

Returning to the causeway at c. 11:50 am, I quickly noticed that a Black Tern had recently arrived; it was still present when I left at c. 12:30 pm. At c. 11:55 am, a Yellow Wagtail landed on the causeway's wooden railings briefly before a car scared it away (like last time!), and it headed off to the south/southwest. Other birds seen were up to 10 Common Terns, 30+ House Martins, 5+ Swallows, just 2 Sand Martins, 9 Herring Gulls and 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

I returned to the lakes at c. 5:40 pm, and saw that a Black Tern was present and it was still there when I left at c. 7:40 pm. Whilst there, I counted 50+ House Martins and 60+ Swallows, and enjoyed the company of two other birders who are both aware of this blog (good talking to you both).

Seems though that 2 Black Terns were seen at the lakes sometime today (BirdGuides, per Warwickshire Birding). Can't imagine this being a miscount, so one at least couldn't have been there long.

M.P. Griffiths

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