Wednesday 14th May: Avocet

There was a welcome surprise waiting for me on my early morning visit to the Meadow today in the form of a lovely AVOCET looking very much at home on the floods and feeding away actively. This species is less than annual on the patch so it's always nice to see one and it makes for a most welcome year tick in what has so far been a very poor spring for waders. Fortunately the Avocet seemed to like the floods and stayed all day, still being there at last light for my second visit.

The last BLACK-TAILED GODWIT was still around in the morning though by the evening it seemed to have moved on. There is one LITTLE EGRET and several Grey Herons all fishing away on the floods at present - perhaps the trapped fish fry have now grown large enough to be worth catching. There are also lots of gulls around at the moment, all looking rather scruffy and strange. They spend a lot of time hawking over the river catching the hapless Mayflies as they hatch.

My second visit was to listen out for Grasshopper Warblers in Burgess Field, this being the last of the common warbler species that we still need. It seems like it's a rather poor year for them in the county but I thought that I'd make an effort to find one. Sadly I can no longer hear them unless they're very close so I'd like to put out a request to anyone with good hearing to see if they can locate one. The weather conditions should be perfect over the next few days and an evening visit to Burgess Field should find one singing away (they sound like a free-wheeling bike) from the undergrowth if they're about at all.

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