Wednesday, 28 March 2012

First Swallow of the Year

Had my first Swallow of the year today, a single bird at Escrick in York where Jenny keeps her horse. Was a bit of a surprise really as not heard of that many up this way and I think it might be the first in the York recording area??? Anyway, it flew around a bit, sat on the wires around the stables and generally showed well, as they do. Also had a very vocal Green Woodpecker here too.

Swallow - honest.

This evening I had a quick half hour at my new favourite local patch, highlight was my first Sand Martin of the year (not often they're beaten by a Swallow). A party of 3 birds flew east as the sun went down. Also here were Oystercatcher, Green Sandpiper, Curlew and a few other bits and pieces. There has been a few scattered records of Sand Martin in the last few weeks in the York area, but the 'big arrival' just hasn't happened yet and they were conspicuous by the absence!

All of the above seems a long time ago now as I was doing a dawn survey this morning so was up at 4 to get to my site in time to start an hour before sunrise. The survey was great, perfect weather with tonnes of displaying Lapwing, Curlew, Snipe, Oystercatcer and Redshank. A few moderate flocks of staging Golden Plover were very showy. The highlight however was easily the male Goshawk that was up displaying. They are such powerful birds! Lots of displaying Skylark and Meadow Pipit too.

Meadow Pipit phone-scoped

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