Monday, 4 March 2013

Knot a Lot

Saturday 2nd
An early start in the Valley this morning meant hearing the Grey Partridge at its usual spot at 5.45am before taking opposition on the Ramp where a large number of Lapwings could be made out in the growing light. Soon joined by Chiddy and Alan we added Cetti’s Warbler of which 3 were encountered on today’s journey, 11 Marsh Harriers, 1800 Lapwings (all at the Ramp with more at Marsh hide and the Grazing Marsh), 1 Redshank, 8 Dunlin, 3 Grey Herons, 1 male Hen Harrier and 57 Mute Swans. There were 2 Little Egrets present plus 1 Kingfisher, 2 Sparrowhawks 28 Gadwall and 9 Tufted Duck from Feast hide. Harrison’s hide was, as expected, void of avian life apart from a flyover Bittern and the road walk on the Valley boundary added several Goldfinch and Chaffinch, a few Fieldfares but little else while at the orchards at the bottom of Middle Drove held a Little Owl. The route to Marsh hide revealed only 2 Common Snipe and Lapwings aside there were only 4 Greylags to be seen there however, on leaving the hide a smart male Hen Harrier (2nd bird) floated past followed soon after by a solitary ringtail. Very little of note through the Alder Wood except a couple of parties of Long-tailed Tits and a few Blue & Great Tits before arrival at Reedbed hide where the only birds to be seen were 1 Tufted Duck and 6 Teal. Joined at Reedbed hide by Tim Gutsel and Steve Ashton before heading back through the Alder Wood and on to the Nature Trail where we connected immediately with the resident Penduline Tit before making our way along the Lampen Wall. On the lake were 12 Common Gulls, 92 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 29 Gadwall, 2 Great-crested Grebes, 12 Tufted Ducks and 49 Pochards. Passing through the Jungle there were 4 Bullfinches and on the Water Meadows Chiddy found a Knot (new bird for the year and very scarce here). On the Grazing Marsh there were 7 Water Pipits while the Oxbow held 247 Wigeon, 107 Black-headed Gulls and 266 Lapwings. Also today were 1 Kestrel, 3 Water Rails, a further 6 Snipe and at Collard’s at least 2 drake and 1 brownhead Goldeneye on a quick scan while soaring overhead were 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Mistle Thrushes were in the field.
Sunday 3rd
The Grey Partridge was again calling at its usual spot at Grove Ferry this morning where I met Chiddy at 5.45 before we parked up and made our way to the Ramp where we were joined by Bernie. In a similar scenario to yesterday there were at least 1600 Lapwings from the Ramp with a further 5-600 seen around the reserve, there also 4 Dunlin and 1 Redshank from the Ramp. A Shelduck was on the Ramp pool but flew up valley early and just 9 Marsh Harriers were seen although a Barn Owl came from behind hunting over the reeds before heading along the southern border of the reserve before turning inland and then down towards Marsh hide. There were 60 Mute Swans out of roost, 380+ Cormorants, 1 Little Egret, 4 Grey Herons, 3 Linnets and the call of the first of 3 Water Rails. Feast hide bore only 25 Teal, 2 Greylags and 2 Coots and, missing out Harrison’s, we took the river path to Stodmarsh. The Oxbow had 302 Wigeon, the Grazing Marsh held 14 Water Pipits and at the Water Meadows there was no sign of yesterday’s Knot but, there was a single Green Sandpiper and 18 Black-headed Gulls. On the lake at Stodmarsh there were26 Tufted Ducks, 60 Pochards, 75 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Common Gull and 1 Great-crested Grebe with a Sparrowhawk over. The Penduline Tit was still in residence and showed well at times while 30 Siskins entered the Alder Wood and a Tawny Owl called a couple of times around 9.45am. Little of note from Marsh hide except 4 Pied Wagtails and as we passed the back of the Oxbow a ringtail Hen Harrier cruised through and back at the Ramp the only additions were 3 Snipe.
Penduline stil in residence


  1. Estupenda captura del Moscon.Saludos

  2. Knot is a good record Martyn, nice when something a little unexpected turns up, sounds like a good couple of days.