Sunday, 22 April 2012

A Couple of Toads


 



On what appeared to be a slightly better morning weather wise didn’t seem to impress the birds much, taking the same early morning route as yesterday only produced 1 Nightingale, good job I did the survey yesterday, but still enjoyed the songs of many a Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin & Dunnock creating the sound of the dawn chorus now including the reed bed sound of Sedge Warblers s plenty, a few Reed Warblers, one or two Whitethroats, a Couple of Cuckoo’s and several Collared Doves but, as yet, no Turtle Doves. The first of 7 Marsh Harriers seen today was over the Ramp just after 6.00am and amongst the small gathering of common Duck there were 4 Wigeon and a single Shelduck.
Male Marsh Harrier displaying over the Ramp
Five Grey Herons were seen around the reserve plus several pairs of Linnet in most of the bushes. A Great-spotted Woodpecker flew over as I approached the Harrison’s Drove hide but nothing of note was on the pool in front although Skylarks were in full voice over the fields behind. Up past ‘White House’ and on to the road where there were 2 Pied Wagtails, 8 Goldfinches, 4 Greenfinches and several Blackbirds. Back down through Middle Drove towards Marsh hide hearing just the 1 Bittern today, calling more sporadically, where 3 Bullfinches (2 males) flew out of the trees behind the hide heading towards the Orchard. From the hide there were 3 Redshanks with the Lapwing but little else so I carried on through the Alder Wood, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps aside there was not lot else other than Tits and Chaffinches although a drake Pochard was on the pool just before the Wood. On the lake at Stodmarsh there were 3 drake Pochards, 16 Tufted Duck, 62 Mute Swans and 2 Great-crested Grebes while a single House Martin and 2 Swallows passed over. As I was coming through the ’Jungle’ I caught a snippet of a second Nightingale plus another 3 Bullfincehs were in their usual spot and when I got to the Water Meadows a Kingfisher made three separate passes, up river, back over the Water Meadows and then back up river.
elusive drake Bullfinch in 'the Jungle'
The summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit was once again back on the Meadows. Sir Chidwick joined me here after completing his Nightingale survey at Westbere and with him I retraced my steps adding a Canada Goose on the lake as we passed. A stop for a chat with Brendan alongside the Alder Wood before carrying on to Marsh hide where we added 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Garganey (2 drakes).
Marsh Frogs in the dyke alongside path between Marsh hide and Middle Drove
After leaving the hide we stopped briefly at the end of Middle Drove by the Konik Enclosure and were lucky enough to see a pair of Toads in the dyke near to the gate, a first for us both.
Toad obscure

Toad a little obscured
A quick look at Harrison’s was uneventful but there were 2 Wheatears in the field behind so we moved on to the Ramp where new birds, for the day, included a Greenshank and a Little-ringed Plover plus 5 Common Buzzards were either in the area or passing over.
distant Little-ringed Plover from the Ramp


distant Little-ringed Plover from the Ramp

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