Friday, 4 May 2012

04 May 2012

A nice addition to the Westport year list was a Cuckoo found by Nick this morning singing in the reserve, this takes the year list too 103, also present, a single Reed Warbler on the top pool, Jeff Jones had the first one to return the previous day, two Little Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper also the Whitethroat population is building rather slowly with three on the old sewage works this morning.

Below are a couple of photo's from Phil Jones of the Kittiwake and a nice summer plumage Dunlin which were present on the previous day.

I made a visit this afternoon from 15.15 til 17.30, it was quite cool, and felt much cooler than the 15c on the Steelite clock, probably due to the NE breeze, cloud coverage was total with the odd light shower.

The first thing I noticed was the huge number of Hirundines and Swifts, by far the most numerous were House Martins which outnumbered Swallows by at least 70%, Swift were also in good numbers esp hawking insects over the grass bank, it was great as they whizzed past your head within inches and you could hear the rush of wind as they shot past, even funnier was watching my dog Misty as she tried to jump up and catch one!

On the boating lake there were two groups of Canada Geese goslings, the first had eight goslings and the second just two which were notably older than the first group, there was also ten Mute Swans on here plus four on the main lake and two in the reserve, the breeding pair on the main lake has had the nest fenced off by the council but I fear it's too late as when I walked past the parents were sat on the water at the side of the nest while a Carrion Crow pecked (unsuccessfully) at the eggs.

On the Warbler front six Chiffchaff were heard, four Blackcap and four Whitethroat one of which was along the reserve side of the main lake, I didn't hear any Willow Warblers though which has been the case for three straight visits now, Pied Wagtail numbers have dropped off with just two seen on the front of the main lake, on the main lake, just 16 Tufted Duck, five Great Crested Grebe and two groups of Coot with young, one of which had a healthy count of nine chicks, the other group only consisted of two but again like the Canada Geese were much older.

In the reserve a single Coal Tit and Willow Tit were on the top pool but no sign of the Reed Warbler from the last few days, a Buzzard was being mobbed by Carrion Crows over the old gas works, two Mistle Thrush were on the old sewage works along with two Collared Dove and lastly two Starling were on the playing field as I left.

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