Tuesday, 26 April 2011

26 April 2011

A great morning round Westport, spent 4hrs covering just about every inch of the place with Nick, weather was light cloud to start with a bit of sun, the north east breeze got up a bit bringing heavy cloud which threatened a bit of rain, temp was 14c but felt cooler in the breeze, visit from 05.55 til 09.55.

As I entered the park 4 Starlings were feeding on the playing field, there probably feeding young at the moment as it's the only time we ever have Starling on the ground at Westport, at the side of the path the first of 8 Chiffchaffs was singing and the first of 8 Blackcaps as well, on the boating lake a adult Mute Swan was with a group of 4 1st years, these are probably the ones Nick had yesterday morning but are missing a 5th youngster, the resident male Mute Swan was guarding the main lake with his partner in the nature reserve, a couple of Swallows went through as did further several parties during the visit, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the main lake but there was nowhere near as much movement of the species as there was the other day, 3 Greylag Geese remain on the main lake which also held 17 Tufted Duck and 4 Great Crested Grebes, on the grass verge and bank 3 Little Ringed Plover were present and a couple of Pied Wagtails, we made our way around the 'Avenue' were the only addition was a Bullfinch with another on the old sewage works later, in the nature reserve a Treecreeper was present with another on the edge of the main lake, the old gas work held just 1 Stock Dove while on the old sewage works we had 2 Willow Warblers, 9 Whitethroats and a Garden Warbler which was in the same area as the one I'd had a few days earlier, also on here a Jackdaw and Mistle Thrush flew over.
As we had time to spare with Nick still on holiday and myself not due in work til this afternoon we decided to make our way along the nature reserve side of the main lake and down towards the visitor centre, it turned out to be a bit of a good decision, the first young Coots of the year were found along the edge of the lake with 6 in total being busily fed by there parents, over 30+ House Martins were going over the lake with smaller groups of Swallows and a single Grey Heron flew over south, while by the visitor centre and ribbing Pete Lunt about his trip out of the Staffs county to Cheshire Nick picked up a Swift among the House Martin flock, although a Swift was seen at Westport a few days ago by Jeff Jones this was a Westport year tick for us and a good way to end the visit, or so I thought, just as we were about to leave the park ranger came over asking what we'd seen and ever so casually told us he'd had a Wheatear on the playing field earlier and that it was still there, we left the ranger standing as we all rushed off to see if it was still present and as you can see below the male Wheatear was still there, news was put out and with in minutes several Westport regulars were enjoying this rare Westport visitor, plus another Westport lifer and year tick for me!

Male Wheatear by Dave Kelsall (Thanks)

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