What a beautiful spring-like day today, and it feels as though things are happening in the bird world.
Yesterday there were far more gulls on the Estuary than of late, with 70+ Common Gulls, 21 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a new adult Med Gull. Nothing exciting no, but a vast improvement on recent times.
And today? Well today I've netted two patch year ticks!
With fog in the valley this morning, I spent late morning looking up for raptors at various spots around the patch. The highlight came at 10:45am when a Merlin (presumably a male) flew through north east very rapidly. This is our first one of the year, so there's got to be a good chance it was a migrant passing through. Merlin is a bird you would expect to see here every year, but not normally until late autumn, so nice to get this one out of the way so early on.
The next year tick I found during a quick look along the Estuary mid afternoon. Avocet isn't guaranteed here every year, so I was overjoyed to see one feeding in the creek leading from the main Estuary to Seaton Marshes Hide...
|Possibly the worst ever photo of an Axe Avocet|
The Avocet ended up feeding right in front of Seaton Marshes Hide, so I reckon later the other local blogs will be festooned with stunning pics of it. I look forward to seeing them.
So it's 5th March, and I've already had the same amount of patch year ticks this month as I did in the whole of February! Hopefully this is the start of the spring flood gates opening.
Now back to yesterday again, and Jess and I went 'Owling' around the patch from 17:30. This was a total success as we had excellent and prolonged views of two Barn Owls...
|I've seen six different Barn Owls on patch so far this year - not bad going!|
Followed by great (although very dull) views of a Little Owl that just wasn't trying hard enough to hide from us...
|A ball of feathers!|
I'm pleased to report that amazingly both the bird table and out table is still standing! We've been using our table every day, but so far only one bird has found the seed on the bird table...
|If I was a bird I'd probably be a Wood Pigeon!|