Weds. 19th April 2017. As always, a great day out at this premier site. I was determined not to call into the visitor centre to check on sightings, instead trying to find as much as I could myself.
Starting off at the reservoir, the sun soon burned off the frost. Best birds here; 4 wheatears, all males, around the banks, and Scaup, male and female, with tufted ducks. At least 25 ruff here too. Blackcap and reed warblers were singing nicely. Green and great spotted woodpeckers put in an appearance. Tree and house sparrows were nesting around Roads farm.
A mediterranian gull flew over the visitor centre, calling. At the far side of the reedbed scrape I saw my first sedge warbler of the year. A barnacle goose looked a bit lonely. Lots of waders fed on the scrapes and included a little stint, 3 spotted redshanks and three or four pairs of little ringed plovers.
A few wigeon and pintails remained, along with lots of brent geese still. I knew that a black brant had been reported recently and searched through the flocks for it, without success, but did find a pale-bellied. 3 white wagtails showed well, along with 4 yellow wagtails.
I had logged over 70 species by lunchtime, before embarking on a hike to Tabb’s head at the Witham mouth, where the tally came to over 80. I fancied the walk for finding a ring ouzel, and that’s what I got!, a female, about three quarters of the way along. I love finding them, such cool birds. It was chasing a mistle thrush when I first got onto it, unusual, normally its the mistle that sees birds off. They both flew across the river to the Freiston bank, but when I headed back an hour or so later the ouzel had returned-without the mistle. A dozen or so whimbrel were at the mouth. Also right out here were a pair of grey partridges. A marsh harrier hunted the saltmarsh where there were a couple of brown hares too.
Toby had got a little gull in his sights when I arrived back at the East side and a couple of buzzards flew over.