Friday 13th April

After the excitement of a county mega yesterday in the form of a black-winged stilt at Pit 60 (see Gnome's Birding Diary), it was back to the reality of patch birding today. It was in fact quite a nice sunny spring morning when I went for a morning run to see what was about. I say "run", though I found that I didn't have much energy this morning so there was a lot of walking instead. Anyway, it was all the usual stuff about today though with one new arrival and it's little things like that which keep one going when patch birding.

On the floods there was a single LITTLE EGRET, the two OYSTERCATCHERS and a handful of golden plover. Ducks were reduced to a few lingering wigeon and teal, with still good numbers of gadwall and the ROSY-BILLED POCHARD adding a splash of the exotic. Overhead the local RED KITE was mobbing an interloper buzzard. Burgess Field had the usual chiffchaffs and blackcaps and I heard at least three willow warblers on my travels.

The highlight of the trip occurred in the Hinterland when I heard the distinctive call of the first YELLOW WAGTAILS of the year and then soon after found a flock of five in amongst the cattle. It was lovely to see them all in the their smart adult plumage. In the autumn of course there are a lot of juveniles going through but these spring birds all looked very smart. I came across a few more further around on my journey so the final tally was eight birds. White wagtails are coming through in numbers on Farmoor now so with any luck we should get one of these beauties soon as well.

As usual I only had my point & shoot camera with me on my run which typically means that I produce a heavily cropped and rather grotty wagtail photo. So here instead are a couple of cows with a small yellow wagtail blob next to them. At least this shows where you typically find these beautiful birds on the Meadow. I'll take my super zoom camera out at some point in the near future and will try to get some proper shots.

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