What a difference a few days make! Last week we were still firmly stuck in "lake mode" with floods stretching all the way up past the north end of Burgess Field NR; in order to view the birds one had to slog all the way over to the Poplar trees north of the Perch. Then suddenly on Thursday it was as if a switch had been thrown and large areas of grass were revealed, to be picked over eagerly by the hoards of Black-headed Gulls. This receding of the floods has continued each day so that today on my visit, for the first time this year the best viewing point was on the east side again, by the Burgess Field gate.
Hoards of Black-headed Gulls on the freshly exposed grass
Over the last few days there hasn't been anything of particular note. A few YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS were the highlights on the gull front. Whilst there are still good numbers of gulls about, the vast majority are Black-headed Gulls and it's becoming apparent that the gull season is starting to wind down though we could well score a few more Med. Gulls before it's over.
This adult Yellow-legged Gull only seems to have one leg
On the duck front a single SHELDUCK was around on Thursday and there have been a few GOOSANDER still each evening. The PINTAIL have been about more regularly but that's been about it.
Today we had the first decent bit of wader news for a while in the form of the first BLACK-TAILED GODWIT of the year, accompanied by an OYSTERCATCHER. It's amazing to think that it's March already and we still don't have Dunlin on the year list. Now that the floods are more or less back to normal I would expect to get quite a few more wader sightings over the coming weeks now.
A record shot of the Black-tailed Godwit
As if to emphasise the imminent arrival of spring I heard the first singing Chiffchaff of the year in my garden this morning.