15th April 2014
A great start to the day today, with a Greenshank flying over the main island, and then a Green Sandpiper flying over the north-west corner of Longham Reservoir South. Neither are common here; Green Sandpiper used to winter, but is now restricted to one or two records a year. The glorious clear skies weren’t conducive to bringing passerine migrants down, but the first Sedge Warbler of the year was singing at the western end of the Causeway and there were a couple of Whitethroats around. Swallows are back on territory near Longham Lodge.
As for breeding birds, I can confirm that there are 3 singing Cetti’s Warblers on-site, the most we have ever had. Shelducks and Gadwalls are still around. Two female Mallards on LR South each were followed by 6 ducklings that looked less than a week old. Mute Swan is breeding on a bend in the Stour on the south (private) section, a pair of Coots has built a nest on the small pool at the south end of the big reservoir, and there is a pair of Grey Wagtails near the Weir.
Alan Pearce recorded the year’s first Reed Warblers (a few days earlier than average).
George Green writes: “Today I had a minimum of 85, probably well over 100 Mediterranean Gulls – a personal record count for the site. The birds were behaving oddly spending much of their time in among a huge flock of Black-headed Gulls wheeling over the lakes and nearby fields calling constantly. From time to time the gulls would suddenly descend and settle on the large lake for a few minutes before suddenly flying off again and circling the lakes and fields again. I only managed one good count of settled Meds (85) but I could still hear others calling overhead.”