A few bits and bobs from the Easter weekend. On Saturday I was volunteering at Old Moor, and enjoyed myself but to be honest had a disappointing day bird-wise – other than willow warblers and chiffchaffs I didn’t get any migrants, which was a great shame as I was expecting the place to be teeming with sand martins by now. There were a few highlights, though, including oystercatcher, kingfisher and shelduck.
When I got home I had a later afternoon on the Loxley Valley, the highlights being pretty much the same as Good Friday, the best being 10 stock dove at Old Wheel Farm, heard only green woodpecker and curlew at Stacey Bank, a chiffchaff pair and another stock dove at Olive Dam, and a grey wagtail and singing willow warbler at the Fisheries.
Today I had a great walk up High Bradfield, Rocher Flat, Cowell Flat, Agden Side and Agden Reservoir. My target was redstarts, and I soon heard three singing in the vicinty of Rocher Wood. They were tricky sods to track down visually, but I finally pinned one down and got a brief but good view, but sadly it was too quick for a photo.
Elsewhere around there were loads of willow warblers, at least 11 between High Bradfield and Rocher Flat. There were also two oystercatchers heading towards Agden Res. At Cowell Flat I got 4 wheatear – my first ones of the year – plus the usual meadow pipits, curlews, lapwings, reed buntings and heard-only red grouse. Agden Side had another glut of willow warblers, but sadly no signs of any tree pipits yet.
Agden Res had a few siskins around, and a tawny owl could be heard hooting, despite the time of day.
Also today I got the first garden blackcap of the year, with a female in the tree with the feeders. There were also two males singing opposite the house.
And the Easter bird race tally? Well that would be telling, and I still have a few hours left, but I think it’s safe to say I won’t have won!
Finally, just to show I haven’t forgotten completely about photos over the last couple of days…