Sunday, 29 April 2012

Be careful what you wish for

A few weeks ago I was very concerned about the low waterlevels at Morton Bagot and posted an entry headlined "bring on the rain". Hmm. Today, the morning was so wet that I abandoned the patch and visited one of my former regular haunts, Marsh Lane Gravel Pit. Unfortunately, not only was there heavy rain, there was also a strong north-easterly wind and this may have been the reason that Dave and I saw nothing better than four Yellow Wagtails, a Common Sandpiper, and great views of tired hirundines perching on a barbed wire fence a few yards from us. There was no sign of yesterday's Garganey. At least I did see or hear a few common birds which are either scarce, or have never occurred, at Morton Bagot. I refer to Great Crested Grebes, Common Terns, Gadwalls, and Reed Warbler.

This afternoon the weather improved a little bit so I went back to Morton Bagot. There was no sign of the Oystercatcher, and now just one Yellow Wagtail, six Wheatears, and 39 Swallows. What struck me most was that the waterlevel at the main pool had gone up by about two feet so that the island which was barely surrounded by water on Friday now rises just six inches above the level of the pool. Sadly, all the pairs of Lapwings sitting on nests in the flash field and marsh have been flooded out.

possible Greenland Wheatear seen on April 18
possible Greenland Wheatear seen on April 27
 Finally, I thought I would post a couple of photographs (distant and blurred of course) of the most brightly coloured Wheatears I have seen recently, quite possibly Greenland Wheatears.


  1. The second bird on the 27/4 definitely looks a good candidate Richard, even tho it's blurred! Though as you know not all Greenland's are that rufous and are only i'd on the biometrics so maybe the first one is too!

    1. Hi Craig,

      Thanks for your comment. I thought your photograph of a Greenland Wheatear was excellent. It been an interesting debate. Did you see Mike Wakeman's input about the colour-ringed bird he saw? It had been caught in the Netherlands and identified from measurements as a Greenland, and yet it was obviously not such a remarkable looking bird as Mike was surprised to learn from the ringing feedback that it was a Greenland.

      Congratulations on the LRP too.