Male Bullfinch down the lane
A damp and misty morning, but at least the cold easterly wind of yesterday had died down. Just as I got out of the house I heard a familiar ‘Donald Duck’ quacking overhead – a pair of Gadwall flew directly up The Street! My first for the village I think. A Bullfinch down the lane and a distant calling Green Woodpecker were the only things of interest then before I reached the central path to the lake. Water levels have dropped significantly on the water meadow, leaving at least one of the pairs of Coot high and dry, I fear. There were still five Shoveler present though and a couple of Snipe. I did discuss the levels with the NT estates staff later and they explained that they were being managed to optimise conditions for breeding waders – Lapwing, Snipe & Oystercatcher. I was intrigued to see that the Canada Goose is now residing on the old Mute Swans nest near the screen and both swans were out on the lake. Can’t work out what’s going on there. A pair of Mandarin flew out of a tree near the lake and headed off north. As I approached the east end of the dam, I heard from somewhere in the mist, the unmistakeable chatter of a Fieldfare – a lone bird was sitting in the dead oak. There was no sign of Wheatear on the newly sprouting field by the Weaver’s Way but I did find a male on the grazing meadow near The Warren – a different bird from the other day. Still no new spring migrants, a pattern which seems to repeat itself regularly – an early flurry of excitement then nothing more for a couple of weeks!
Male Wheatear, The Warren