We've had the first week of May and so far the longed-for Mega has failed to materialise. However, the floods are hanging on and with the forecast rainy weekend they should get a nice top-up. As far as the flood area is concerned, there has been a noticeable change in the type of birds that we are getting - we are now firmly into the Ringed Plover and Dunlin passage with those making the bulk of any sightings, occasionally accompanied by a Little Ringed Plover. With the shoreline now much more chopped up by the hooves of lilvetstock, they can often be quite difficult to pick out as the skulk around in the mud.
Apart from that it's just been the odd Oystercatcher, one or two late Yellow Wagtails and today a couple of Golden Plover. On the duck front there are a couple of Shelduck still visiting from time to time but otherwise it's just a handful of Black-headed Gulls picking over the floods.
|Ringed Plover and Dunlin|
Away from the floods Nick Boyd managed to get a Burgess Field Spotted Flycatcher on the year list this week on a day when this species was recorded at a number of sites throughout the county. There has also been a male Cuckoo hanging out in Burgess Field for the last few days. One evening it was joined by a second male with lots of calling and chasing each other around before the interloper was seen off. I'm not quite sure what breeding opportunities Cuckoo might find around here: they traditionally use Reed Warblers or Meadow Pipits as hosts so perhaps the former, which breed in the Trap Grounds, might be their target.
Looking forward, we have perhaps another week or two of passage waders before things really start to fizzle out. With the various summer breeders all now in place, we will soon be hitting the birding summer doldrums though with such strange cold weather it doesn't really feel like we are heading into summer anytime soon.