After the rain and cold conditions of Monday, my day off today with Jordan gave us time to enjoy the sunshine a bit. So I decided on a trip to Carsington to mop up a few of the summer migrants that have braved the weather. It still rained a bit, but the majority of the time it was dry and we had a great walk between Sheepwash and Lane End.
The wintering Great Northern Diver was seen from Sheepwash distantly, but by the time we had walked down to Lane End it had swum up the reservoir to be opposite the hide and we could make out that it was now moulting into summer plumage. This video shows some of the detail although it was still quite a way across the water from the hide. We also picked out the two Common Scoters that have been present for a couple of days, although they were very distant.
The walk down to Sheepwash Hide gave us ample views of the Primroses (above right) and running in and out of these and the fallen logs were a party of what I thought were mice. After watching them for a good half hour they had put on quite a show and I'd had sufficient views of them to think they were one of the voles. I didn't get good enough views to distinguish between Common and Short-tailed. As these were the first time I'd seen voles I really didn't stand a chance of getting the species. They didn't seem intimidated by us though as we stood there watching them. Jordan tried to capture them on film but they were a little too fast for the camera! Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were singing, as were the Chaffinches and Thrushes. Not many ducks left now, but a pair of Teal, two Shelduck, several Mallards and Tufted Duck, Redshank, Oystercatcher and Lapwing were all seen from the hide. And best of all were the first Swallows of the year. Only two but that's good enough for me!
This picture (left) shows some sort of growth from a large species of tree at the start of the footpath from the car park at Sheepwash down towards Lane End. I've never seen this before and can't find it in my multitude of books on British trees. If anyone knows what this is I'd be interested. I'm going to return in a week or so and see what it's turned into! Not sure if its the leaf buds or seeds?
I also found several of these leafmines (above) on the brambles, again if any of my more learned watchers can identify it I'd be very grateful! Leafmines are a bit beyond me at this point in my Moth-career.
Swallow and Blackcap takes my Bird Yearlist to 126.