Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter 2010 - Easter Saturday

Saturday included one of the highlight locations of our holiday and one especially selected for locating migrant birds. Of course when you're planning such a holiday it's hard to know what the weather conditions might be, some months in advance...

As it turned out the wind was a prevailing South-Westerly so migrant drops were likely to be in Cornwall and on the South Coast, rather than the Lincolnshire Coast. Still the weather wasn't as bad as the previous day. The reserve however was also quite quiet, except for the air-filling song of the Skylarks.

One bird that was present in good numbers was the Black-headed Gull. This one had been perched on a hide we wanted to visit:



From said hide we watched a group of eleven hares. Their behaviour included boxing and a lot of running around, interspersed with quieter periods. Great watching though quite distant. We had however booked a 'hare watching ' trip with the RSPB, to Havergate Island to finish our holiday, and had fingers crossed for closer views.

One of our most common ducks is the Tufted Duck:



As the breeding season approaches most of the birds have moulted into their summer/breeding plumage. I like the way the tuft is so clear on this drake.

One of the reserve wardens told us where he'd seen both Firecrests and Black Redstart, but we dipped out on both, despite lengthy attempts to locate them.

From Gibraltar Point we headed for the afternoon to Frieston Shores, RSPB, one of the highlight locations of our previous visit. Here we learned that tides are as important if not more important than seasons. Although we had the tide times right, they weren't big tides so less birds were pushed off the coastline and into the roost areas on the reserve. There were a number of Avocets on the reserve, together with a few hundred Brent Geese, here another group came to join the gathering:



Other birds included Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Ruddy Turnstones and Herring Gulls. In the hedge on the path to the hide, an obliging Chiffchaff:



We decided to head back on Sunday morning, with the tide in again and to see what else might be about, so headed off to our next hotel, the Premier Inn, just North of Boston.

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