01 May 2012

A good day to be out in the rain

A biblical plague of hirundines on the other side today; huge numbers of Swallow moving NE with plenty of House Martin and Swift mixed in, and a scattering of Sand Martin.

The motacillidae did alright too. A maximum single count of 81 Yellow Wagtail on the deck (68 in one field) and another 105 over NE. Also 12 White Wagtail on the deck and a few Tree Pipit over NE.

Keeping a beady open for the Laughing Gull produced a 1st-winter Mediterranean Gull moving up-river with 10 Black-headed Gull and then the terns turned up. Eleven Black, one Common and two Arctic flew up-river in a loose 'flock'; two Black paraded up and down some flooded stubble; another Black fed just offshore; then a Little appeared really close in, before heading up-river; finally, the two 'terrestrial' Blacks gained a bit of height and headed back to the estuary. Not a bad show,... for a river.

Other miscellaneous migrants included: Wheatears dotting about in small groups; a smart male Whinchat; a less smart female Redstart; and 185 Goldfinch over NE plus more grounded by the rain.

Amazing what half decent winds, a deluge and six or seven hours in the field will produce. 

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