It was lovely and sunny on the reserve earlier today under blue skies, but a tad too fresh NW wind kept it quite chilly.
We enter the reserve through a tiny spinney of trees and bushes, part of the farmland alongside, and it was lovely today to see the willow catkins beginning to open out and providing an early feed for any insects that there are about. Noticeable too on the reserve, that some of the Greylag Geese are now flying around in pairs, couple that with displaying Lapwings and we are inching in the right direction.
Taking note of Warren's comment yesterday about my lazy habits I decided to walk a longer patrol around what is not under water on the reserve this morning - result, my arthritic feet ache like mad now - wine and a snooze seems a better option!
The normal March swap over of ducks on the reserve was also apparent this morning, Wigeon and Teal numbers are beginning to decrease and Shoveler, Pintail and Gadwall are increasing. The pick of the counts this morning was as follows:-
60 Mute Swan - 90 Brent Geese - 60 Shelduck - 700 Wigeon - 60 Gadwall - 400 Teal - 280 Mallard - 50 Pintail - 70 Shoveler - 6 Tufted Duck - 5 Marsh Harrier - 1 Sparrowhawk - 200 Coot - 400 Golden Plover - 1,000 Lapwing - 150 Curlew - 100 Wood Pigeon - 1 Barn Owl - and lots of bits and pieces of other common birds.
I also have to say, that these numbers are pretty small compared with some of the totals that must be on the extensive and water-logged grazing marshes near by. Difficult to count due to the area that they cover but there must of been several thousand Golden Plover and Lapwing at least, plus Curlew, wildfowl and Starlings.
Now where's that corkscrew!