Thursday, 22 April 2010

Yellow Wagtail Feast!

22nd April. Another sunny if cool day took me to Cresswell and East Chevington. Fist stop was Cresswell for what we hoped would be Yellow Wagtails. We weren’t disappointed with six of these birds being seen at close quarters, eventually joined by the ‘channel wagtail’ which had been reported. To be honest I hadn’t been aware of this hybrid ‘channel wagtail’ until having read a recent very good article in the Durham Bird Club Lek mag. It was interesting to note this bird and it is the pale white throat immediately came to mind. There was no sign of the black headed wagtail, feldegg. A shame, but I do have that sub species on my list from a trip to Romania in recent years. Interestingly I saw recently that there is talk of pressure to make this one a separate species. There were plenty of Pied Wagtails around today, but I didn’t see any white wagtails. The Yellow Wagtails had been an excellent start to the day and the first of today’s Meadow Pipits were close by.

Next stop was the pond where my first Common Sandpiper of the year was found on the edge of the reed bed. No sign of the hoped for Jack Snipe during my short visit. There was a good number of Gadwall on the smaller pond leading to the hide. Birds on the pond itself included Great Crested Grebe, Shelduck, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Red-breasted Merganser. Waders were few in number but included Oystercatcher, Lapwing Redshank and Curlew.

After a cuppa it was off to East Chevington. The water was high and the birds few. The most significant birds for me were my first of the year Sand Martins, in some numbers. There were many more Gadwall out on the water and several Grey Heron in the area. Skylarks could be heard singing from the direction of the dunes and Meadow Pipits were numerous.
We stopped at Cresswell on the return journey at what must have been around 4.00pm and no wagtails were to be seen, apart from two Pied Wagtails. So we headed off home, finding a Kestrel on the way. Forty-four species on the list, but definitely a Yellow Wagtail day!

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