Monday, 28 March 2016


I started at the North of the patch this afternoon to check whether there was activity in the nest-boxes I put up (there wasn't). There was plenty of interest in the hedgerows and I quickly noted robin, marsh tit, chiffchaff and goldcrest. As I watched the goldcrest I went through my normal routine of eliminating that it wasn't something else. Eye stripe? Nope. Yellow crest? Yep. It's definitely a goldcrest.

"How wildly optimistic am I that I go to such lengths each time?" I thought to myself. In all the years I've checked, not one has gone on to be a firecrest or yellow-browed warbler or any other 'exotic'. So when I set my binoculars on 'another goldie' I nearly fell over... I was only afforded a brief view before I lost it, but it was a firecrest! I was so excited that I had to share the moment with somebody, so excitedly texted Nick Morgan. Then I set about relocating it and getting some pictures.

As I followed it down the hedgerow, I came across another long-tailed tit nest and a male blackcap; my first of the year. I left it alone and completed my walk. A large bird of prey was flying high above the treetops... osprey! What a day!

Back at the South of the patch it was a bit quieter. The usual suspects such as goosander were on the river...

This reed bunting was hiding embarrassedly in the manure heaps while his full summer plumage develops...

He shared the manure with at least six pied wagtail, more than a dozen meadow pipits, a couple of snipe and what I'm 90% sure was jack snipe. It didn't fly high and away, calling like the common snipe, but low and quietly to settle 100 yards away. I glanced it had a shorter bill, but I was worried my eyes had tricked me so approached it again with camera ready. Alas, I couldn't focus on it and lost it from view.

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