Friday 15 April 2016

Red(start) Alert

Having missed the Redstart when it was first found on Tuesday, and somehow managing to overlook it yesterday I was keen to get back to try and catch up with this little stunner. I only had an hour post-work and with heavy clouds, persistent rain and a cold north-east wind I wasn't overly hopeful.

Parking up on the bridge on Carr Lane I could immediately hear a few Sedge Warbler singing away, clearly new birds in. A few Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were bouncing around the bushes along Ramsbrook (at the back of Carr Lane Pools), and a few Pied Wagtails were feeding in the field. The rain was fairly heavy and I was getting quite cold and wet scanning the hedgerow when suddenly the male Common Redstart appeared from nowhere. I watched it for a further couple of minutes, but it was generally elusive, appearing to be dropping down to feed in the edges of Ramsbrook.

A Sparrowhawk lazily flapped over Hale Marsh, whilst a few hirundines (mainly Swallow with a few House and Sand Martin) looked thoroughly miserable over the Pools. I decided to have a quick drive round to the gate at Town Lane before heading home.

There were only a few waders including 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 3 Black tailed Godwit and 16 Redshank. There were very good numbers of Wagtails spread across the Pools and the flooded roadside fields with at least 19 White and 7 Yellow Wagtail. I eventually picked out a Channel Wagtail (even worse record shots than yesterday above!). Duck numbers are slowly deteriorating and only 23 Teal and 3 Shoveler remain (despite the lovely weather for ducks!).

An enjoyable brief visit to the patch, with the Redstart bringing me up to 146 for the year (1 ahead of my end of April total last year!). Hopefully the weekend will bring some better weather and a few more migrants.


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