Saturday 21 April 2018

Farmoor: Thames and west side 21 April am

After some midweek success with the possible Iberian Chiffchaff, it was back to more standard fare today...

Attracted by Cuckoo reports and the lovely weather (but too good for overflying migrants?), I decided to head back to the Thames at Farmoor this morning and started at the same place as last week.

Walking north up the Thames path, it was immediately apparent that more Warblers were now "in" than last week. The Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps had now been joined by Lesser Whitethroat and at least two Grasshopper Warblers (one reeling away in the middle of Buckthorn Meadow and the other from the middle of Shrike Meadow). There was also plenty of Sedge Warbler song.

I spent some time in the SM hide but neither saw nor heard a hint of Cuckoo (apart from a very brief snatch of possible "song" - which might well have been human generated!). In fact apart from distant reeling Grasshopper Warbler and similarly invisible Reed/Sedge Warblers and one burst of Cetti's Warbler there was nothing much about.

After the hide  I walked up the zig-zag path to the reservoir bank (west side of FII). The res itself seemed very quiet - no hirundines or terns that I could see. But there was a small brown bird on the waters edge with a Pied Wagtail. On a closer approach this  turned out to be a nice LRP. As ever this species seems pretty wary, but I managed a brief burst of hand-held shots before it was off.

Little Ringed Plover. For larger image, go to my website.

Thereafter I tried Dry Sandford Pit for early damselflies but without any success and this week the Lark Hill reservoir was devoid of birds in the continuing fine weather.

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