10th April. The past few days have tended to be confined to a few short checks on patch, but one flying evening visit was made to Warkworth Lane, but the Common Crane had flown. Once I had realised Warkworth Lane isn’t actually in Warkworth, I remembered that I had been in this area before and it is well worth a look apart from so much oil rape seed being planted. I did find a couple of Swallows. A stop at Cresswell on the return home brought almost nothing.
So back to the patch. Sam alerted me to the Whooper Swan on the lake on 9th April and we’ve watched it for a couple of days. Some nest sites have been checked out. We heard the first Willow Warbler of the year on patch today, which managed to make its self clearly heard above the sound of the Chiffchaffs.
Whooper on patch
Sam and I decided to visit Big Waters in the afternoon and once there we headed for the hide. W reached it and we were looking forward to getting out of the wind and, by now, heavy rain. There was a NWT event going on, the walk from Weetslade I believe, so we were turned away as the hide was closed to the public. We had no option but to face the wind and rain again before we took shelter in the other, rather less classy hide. At least we had it to ourselves as we thought of the buffet food that was being eaten in the other hide. We did find Swallows and Sand Martins flying over the pond. There wasn’t too much else about it seemed, although both Lesser and Great Black Backed Gulls were seen. Once we noticed the shutters of the other hide were closed we thought we’d try again and this time we got in and once again had a hide to ourselves. We had hopes of some of the buffet remaining, but it wasn’t to be, so I made do with a cheese ‘sarnie’ and Sam a chocolate biscuit! We did get better views of the Swallows and Sand Martins. Several very smart male Reed Buntings fed on the reeds.
A Hide with a view, buffet and en-suite facilities extra!
It was meant to be sunny spells with showers. It seemed at one point that it was just to be showers and heavy ones at that. The feeding station was busy with, Tree Sparrows which we had heard in the trees on approach, Chaffinches, tits, Dunnock, a pair of Pheasant looking very nice as the rain held to the feathers, and eventually a female Great Spotted Woodpecker.
When we made off to return home we found a very nice flock of twenty plus Yellowhammers in the hedges and feeing in the fields. The males looking splendid at this time of year. Lapwings, Linnets and Stock Doves were also seen.
So it had been a rather cold and at times wet day, but never the less an enjoyable one bringing two year ticks in the shape of Willow Warbler and Sand Martin. I have a feeling that I may be getting even wetter before the week is out!
Wet Tree Sparrows
April showers may come your way,
They bring the flowers that bloom in May.
So if though it's raining, have no regrets,
Because it isn't raining rain, you know, It's raining violets