Thursday 17th April: Tree Pipit

It's been a good couple of days on the Patch with a couple of new year ticks. On Wednesday in Burgess Field I heard and then found the first COMMON WHITETHROAT of the year (for even the whole county I believe) warbling away quietly in the Hawthorn. By today there were at least three of them already staking out their territories. The highlight of this morning was when I stumbled across a TREE PIPIT sitting in a tree (of course) and having a bit of a quiet sing to itself. It was right into the sun but I could make out the diagnostic finer streaking down its flanks and of course the song snippet was enough to clinch the ID. Ewan Urquhart managed to find it again later in the afternoon so it was nice that it hung around for others to see. Tree Pipit is a common enough bird nationally but within the county they sadly no longer breed and it's a good bird to catch up with on spring or autumn passage. I must say that Burgess Field does look like a great bit of habitat for them so in years to come a pair may choose to breed there.

On the floods it's still very quiet though there have been a LITTLE EGRET, a pair of SHELDUCK, the usual OYSTERCATCHERS and three RINGED PLOVER to report. We've still yet to have Yellow Wagtail though by way of compensation there was a very nice WHITE WAGTAIL along the shoreline today. There was a flock of several House Martins and a single Sand Martin hawking low over the floods late afternoon as the weather deteriorated somewhat.

My attempts to photograph today's Tree Pipit proved lamentable 
so here's a shot of last year's very accommodating bird

I'm expecting Garden Warbler any day as they've reached the county now. We still need Sedge Warbler though and Reed Warbler should reach the Trap Grounds in due course.

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