Saturday, 19 May 2012

One flew over the gravel pits

Last night whilst Jordan was at Scouts I had a run down to Willington Gravel Pits to see what was about. The last time I was there a few weeks ago it was during the massive amount of rain that we were experiencing and the entrance track looked like this...

Fortunately it had dried up a little and was passable. In fact I think all that water had levelled things out along the road - it didn't seem half as full of pot holes as I remember! The rain started to spit a little so I donned waterproofs and a cover for the scope and made the best of it. I'm glad I did too, as the first bird I spotted was this...

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It stayed in the first field where the sign board is, and flitted around between perches, cuckooing occasionally. Its mate was seen briefly further back towards the reeds presumably looking for warblers or maybe pipits nests in which to lay its progeny.

Along the lane were the usual warblers with Lesser Whitethroat showing briefly and a male Blackcap eventually giving himself away. The hawthorns were absolutely buzzing with bugs, a huge hatch of midges and flies providing food for hundreds of hungry Swift, Swallows and Sand Martins (but no House Martin spotted) that were feeding in droves over the lakes! A brilliant sight. Sedge and Reed Warbler were singing/chirruping and the Cetti's even gave me one blast of song, just to let me know he was still there. The lakes looked a bit bare of waterfowl with only a few Great Crested Grebes, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan and Mallard being seen. But these Ruff reminded me that Willington really was a place that things can turn up out of the blue!

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This thought also got my mind racing when a small wader flew across the main lake and landed on the spit. In the gathering gloom it could have been anything from a Little Ringed Plover to a Temminck's Stint, but I'm struggling to pin it down with the very brief views I had of it. Some just have to go down as mystery birds, don't they! The return to the car was done a bit quicker as the rain got a bit heavier, but these small mushrooms growing on the side of a chopped down tree caught my eye. If any of my readers have any ideas what they are, I'd be most appreciated!
Bird Year list = 141
Moth Yearlist = not much improvement on 42. Although the weather looks like it could be good this weekend so hopefully there'll be more Lep news shortly!

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