Friday, 15 May 2009

15th May 2009

Not long after arriving at the lakes at c. 9:30 am, I heard a Cuckoo calling from the south of Windmill Pool. Before I left at c. 2:00 pm, I'd also seen 14 Common Terns, 15+ Swifts, 35+ House Martins and just 1 Sand Martin from the causeway; and the Mute Swan and a Kestrel at Terry's Pool. Easily the best bird I saw though was a Dunlin foraging at the northern corner of Windmill Pool, which gave excellent views because it remained pretty close to me the whole time it was foraging (I reckoned it was less than 10 metres away from me at one point). Although when I first saw it at c. 10:35 am I thought it was a Dunlin, it's black belly had only just started to develop, which confused me but fortunately another birder was there who confirmed its ID. At c. 11:35 am, the bird got spooked by a Carrion Crow but came back, but quickly got scared again by a fisherman (which I guess was too much) and, after gaining height, flew off heading northwards (I watched it in my bins until it became a dot in the sky, then disappeared completely).

It's a pity yesterday's plover didn't give equally good views; however, my thinking now is that it was probably a (Common) Ringed Plover, owing to the bird's size and the fact that a number of other Ringed Plovers were appearing at other sites in the West Midlands.

A return visit: my mom kindly dropped me off at the causeway, but from c. 7:50 pm to 8:20 pm the only notable difference from earlier was that 60+ Swallows were present. I didn't see any Black Tern today, and none seem to have been reported at the lakes either.

M.P. Griffiths

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