What a quite incredible 24+ hours at Westport from yesterday morning into early this morning, sadly as per usual I missed it all and as per usual all my own doing, although having to go into work at 3pm for a nine hour shift didn't help, what help even less was forgetting to take my phone off silent and missing all the text messages until it was all too late for me, what made it worse for me was missing out on a Westport tick as well!
So it all started rather quiet and normal, since my find of the Glaucous Gull back in February it's been a very quiet period for Westport, something Nick and myself had been talking about the day previously as we walked around the lake. Nick had seen two Little Ringed Plovers plus the singing Whitethroat and seven Swallows went through, all early doors before he left for work, the weather was wet and windy which was something that just didn't let up for the whole day until late afternoon.
At 09.45 Jeff Jones had a White Wagtail in heavy rain, this was the third too go through in the last week with Nick and myself having one earlier in the week, 15 minutes later and Jeff had added a Arctic Tern to the list which was a first for the year and not to be unexpected really as they had been going through the country in the 100's the previous day.
At 12.30 the legend that is Bill Low made a rather rare visit too Westport (let's see you back on a regular basis mate), he struck gold with four adult Little Gulls, a Westport tick for me, I may be wrong on this but I think it's the first at Westport since one on 2 October 2006, and although again there have been good numbers moving through the country these were far from being expected, the Arctic Tern was also still present, by 15.25 Arctic Tern numbers had increased to twelve but sadly the Little Gulls had departed, it was just before this that I happened to check my phone before leaving it in the locker at work, cry, close, I was very very close, if I'd not left my phone on silent I would of made the Little Gulls and Arctic Terns before getting into work.
But Westport wasn't finished with yet 15.20 saw the first Swift of the year along with the two Little Ringed Plover again and at 15.45 the Arctic Terns numbers were up to 21 as seen by Dave Kelsall, another Westport regular who hasn't been around as much recently, so come on Dave let's have you back among the fold mate, at 16.50 Dave also had two Yellow Wagtails on the grass bank, another Westport year tick and also with them was a White Wagtail, same as earlier in the morning or another one, with the way the day was going I wouldn't be surprised if it was a new one, all in all it really was a cracking day at Westport, probably one of the best days their has ever been down there and I was stuck at work, although I would of made the Little Gulls that I'm sure of, lesson learnt, probably not knowing me!!
This morning Nick kept the good news going with a Osprey flying low over nearby Bradwell Wood, although not at Westport it's very close and who knows what this afternoon down there will bring, were will I be at work!!
If anyone has any photo's from yesterday I would be very grateful if I can have a copy or two for the blog, thanks in advance.