Monday, March 4, 2013

The calm before the storm - early March update

Common Snipe

It's been a while since I summarised local (Filey) activities, so here goes. While there's been nothing outstanding to shout about, there is, however, a palpable sense of early spring rumblings on land and at sea. I've been visiting the sister wetland sites of the Dams and East Lea regularly, and subtle changes in the roll call at each - various commoner ducks (dominated by Wigeon and Teal),as well as the first returning waders in the shape of Redshanks, Lapwings, and as of today, a gang of seven Common Snipe - are sure signs that migration has quietly begun.

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

Gull numbers have spiked dramatically, especially in the bay, with many hundreds of Common and Black-headed Gulls coming in to roost over the last few evenings; the loafing and bathing parties at the Dams are also far more numerous, but as yet haven't contained a rarer congener (discounting the first Lesser Black-back at the site there today).

Black-headed Gulls against the Brigg

Other bits and pieces of note have included a Brambling (with Chaffinches at East Lea); Three Red-breasted Mergansers, a semi-permanent flock of 48 Wigeon, a handful of Red-throated Divers, the odd Eider, Great Crested Grebe and good numbers of Shags in the bay; and a few Purple Sandpipers, Sanderlings and Knot with the commoner waders on the shoreline.

Wigeon in the bay

Another few days locally and then I'm gone for most of the rest of the month - back down to London, where a combination of outreach work (for London Wildlife Trust) and music (launching our new album and playing plenty of shows) will keep me busy until the warblers start to arrive......

Knot in the bay corner - note beginnings of summer plumage on the underparts of the left-hand bird

Red-throated Diver heading north