March 2012 at Longham Lakes

March 2012 was an excellent month at the Lakes, with one new species for the site recorded and several remarkable counts of Mediterranean Gulls. Here, in reverse order, are the highlights:

March 27th
A new species for the site, a WATER PIPIT, was found today beside a small puddle on Hampreston Fields (Mike, surname unknown). It was in smart spring plumage. There have been one or two reports before but this is the first reliable one. Also today on the

Coots (Alan Pearce)
Coots fighting, Longham Lakes, March 27th 2012 (Alan Pearce)

Lakes, 209 Tufted Ducks, 12 Great Crested Grebes, a few pairs of Gadwall, a single remaining female Wigeon and some aggressive Coots. Migrants arriving today included 1 Little Ringed Plover (1st of the year), 5 Chiffchaffs and 2 Swallows (Alan Pearce).

March 24th
A rarity for Longham, not unknown in March, is Egyptian Goose. There were 3 this morning, which constitutes a modest record count! Also, no less than 40 Mediterranean Gulls, which would have been a record, but see below.

March 17th
In many ways, an extraordinary day here at Longham. Choose for yourself the most remarkable record:
Was in an amazingly early Common Tern (Chris Parnell), beating the previous earliest by over a month (21st April 2006)?
Or was it a new record count of Mediterranean Gulls, an incredible 70+ (George Green), beating the previous record of 30 on 30th March 2010?
Either way, there was something unusual in the air today. Also seen/heard, the first Blackcap and Sand Martins (10+) of the year (Alan Pearce).

March 16th
On this date a Reed Bunting was trapped on Canford Heath, but of relevance to this website is that it was originally ringed as a first-year female at Longham on 30th September 2011.

March 11th
Robin Trundle had 1 Green Sandpiper today, a bird that is gradually getting scarcer here at Longham. Also 1 Cetti’s Warbler heard.

Mediterranean Gulls (Chris Parnell)

Mediterranean Gulls, Longham Lakes, March 3rd 2012 (Chris Parnell)

March 10th
20 Mediterranean Gulls today (Chris Parnell).

March 3rd
A count of 15 began the Mediterranean Gull bonanza that was March 2012.

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