It's been a good week on the Meadow. The floods are incredibly birdy at present - there must be several thousand birds about at the moment which is really great. As far as species go, after a long period of rather sameyness there's been a subtle but definite change over the last week with at last some real movement occurring. This has been most noticeable as far as waders have been concerned when suddenly a few started to appear. We've had a single DUNLIN, a RUFF, up to seven REDSHANK, 3 OYSTERCATCHERS and two early RINGED PLOVER all make an appearance this week. Add to this several hundred Lapwing and up to 70 or so Golden Plover and it's been pretty good.
On the duck front it's mostly been the usual suspect. At the start of the week we had about 15 PINTAIL though this has quickly dropped to about 5 birds. There were a couple of SHELDUCK on Sunday and we've been getting a few GOOSANDER in the evening roost. I did notice a single Gadwall in amongst the usual duck species this week and there are a few Shoveler about as well.
I've not been doing the gull roost as rigorously this week. There have been large numbers of Black-headed Gulls picking over the recently flooded grass. There were reasonable numbers of large gulls already about mid afternoon on Sunday though nothing out of the ordinary. Indeed it's been rather quiet on the Caspian and white-winger front throughout the whole county recently.
A couple of other snippets: on a quick early morning walk on Monday morning along the canal I saw my first Patch Sparrowhawk of the year and also heard a Blackcap singing for the first time this year. With the Daffodils now out and birds starting to claim their territories you can really sense that spring is just around the corner now.