Over the past few weeks I have been putting in quite a few visits to St Mary’s wetland and the headland area in the hope of catching up with spring migrants. The migrant birds have been trickling in slowly (whilst I have been there anyway) with Wheatear on the beach, Sand Martin and Swallows hawking over the wetland and Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler in the scrub.
In late March this splendid Ivory Gull was in with a flock of Herring Gulls at the car park on the headland. This record shot hardly does it justice – its ivory and oatmeal-coloured plumage was beautiful.
As always, there are plenty of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Linnets and Reed Buntings on the headland and in the fields next to the wetland area. Sometimes the Skylarks and the Linnets are so noisy it makes it hard to listen out for anything else.
One morning I spotted a fox poking around in the wetland area, presumably looking for its breakfast. I have seen it a couple of times and suspect it actually lives in the scrub in the wetland area.
Last week the Grasshopper Warblers arrived in the fields beside the headland. There were two or three birds reeling in the early morning on both Tuesday and Thursday but try as I might I just couldn’t see them!
With all the focus on St Mary’s I had been neglecting Holywell until this weekend, when I caught up with the American Wigeon. Luckily it had hung around and was still feeding to the left of the public hide on Sunday morning.
The scrape also yielded my first Common Sandpiper of the year, whilst quite a few Sedge Warblers were hiding in the rapeseed fields around the pond and I also spotted my first Whitethroats of this year in brambles beside the bridleway.
I love spring!