March is a funny old month: spring is in the air and the first birds start arriving but it can bring about a premature sense of expectation which can often lead to disappointment. This last week has been a case in point: I've been mostly focused on finding spring migrants but it has been rather hard work. I have managed to find some singing Chiffchaffs finally: one was in the Trap Grounds on Tuesday and one has been singing in the Spinney most days. In addition Ian Curtis reported a couple of Chiffies along the canal last Friday. Sand Martins, usually the first to arrive, have been notable by their absence so far. I finally managed to catch up with one of my favourite spring birds when Steve Lavington found a LITTLE RINGED PLOVER on the floods today. Fortunately it was still there late afternoon when I visited. That's about it on the spring migrant front sadly.
|I was determined to take a record shot of the Little Ringed Plover today though the scope shaking wind and the extreme distance made is very hard indeed. In fact I'm amazed that this has come out as well as it has!|
Apart from that it's been the usual suspects: SHELDUCK have been around in numbers varying between about six and twelve most days; the REDSHANK are still with us and have now grown to five in number and the two OYSTERCATCHERS are still about though a third bird did drop in on Wednesday. There are still plenty of Wigeon and Teal about and some Shoveler though the Pintail seemed to have moved on now.
The gull roost has been frankly pathetic the last few evenings though there were five COMMON GULLS in amongst the paltry gathering today, marking their spring passage. The first Med Gulls have now been seen in the Farmoor roost so their spring passage has now officially started as well. Let's hope for one of these on the Meadow some time soon.
It's still early days on the spring front and it will all really get going when April arrives.