I had pre-organised to meet up with Tim again and we had planned to start the visit at the Warren,watching from Numpties watchpoint.
At first it was steady,with few highlights,but then a Merlin flashed past south and the first of the mornings parties of Arctic Terns flew out east.The latter being my first records of the year of these lovely north bound Terns.
New birds for the year continued,with another south bound raptor,a Hobby,as it flew south towards the breach,but a little while later it u turned back north and the first of 4 very welcome Swift headed south.
A steady stream of Swallows were heading south all morning and other migrants around the warren included 2 Wheatear,3 Yellow Wagtail south and another first for the year in the form of a cracking Garden Warbler which was trapped and ringed by Adam.
The tide was beginning to flow in and was pushing good numbers of arctic bound waders closer and closer and allowed stunning views of Grey Plover,Bar-tailed Godwits and Dunlin in all their spring finery,what a brilliant sight to see.
After a good few hours watching from here,Tim and myself decided to go for a walk,covering the Canal bushes,Canal Scrape and the Triangle.Highlights included at least 23 Whimbrel seen landing in Well field,with Lesser Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler singing in the Canal area,with a buck Roe Deer in amongst the scrub of Little Hedge.
A message then came over the radio that a Hawfinch had been found in Kew and we thought to ourselves,we are never going to get there in time.
As we arrived in the grounds of Kew campsite,we could see that the female Hawfinch was still present,giving some stunning views as it quietly fed on the ground and visited a nearby bird feeder.
After getting some half decent images of this cracker we decided to head up Beacon Lane and cover the Ponds,Kilnsea Wetlands,Long Bank and Sammy's Point.
As we left Kew the distinctive 'Chack' of a Fieldfare was heard and it was seen as it flew across the Triangle towards the Warren,a nice sighting all the same.
Kilnsea Wetlands was our next stop and provided us with some nice sightings which included a lovely flock of Bar-tailed Godwits feeding relatively close to the hide and a couple of Common Sandpiper,the latter my first records of the year,3 Whimbrel,4 Little Egret and a Wheatear.The Egrets were in all their spring finery and looked just stunning as always.
On to Beacon Ponds and more goodies in the form of another first of the year,Little Tern.At least 5 birds were present and gave distant views as they loafed on the waters edge.Also present were a single Sandwich Tern and a very dapper male Common Scoter and some good numbers of waders which included more stunning Grey Plovers.
Very little was on Long Bank Marsh apart from 9 Wheatear and as we neared Sammy's a Short-eared Owl was watched hunting the ditch sides and grass paddocks.
Other birds observed at Sammy's included a very brief singing Grasshopper Warbler,which had been showing really well in the morning apparently,typical.
Some serious coverage of the area today was beginning to take it's toll and we headed to the Blue Bell for a well earned cuppa.
After our tea stop we went to look for an interesting looking male Stonechat which was feeding in Well Field and it wasn't long before we were watching it.It was a pretty bright individual and had a decent pale rump and showed some of the characters of the continental race 'Rubicola',whatever it was it was a very smart bird!.
Also in close proximity to the Stonie,was a very smart Whinchat and yes you guessed right,another first for the year.Both birds were frequently seen in the same scope view giving a great comparison of both species,very nice too.
As i wearily wandered back to the car where i had parked it at the Warren gate,8 more Wheatear were watched in a small grass field opposite the Canal car park,a nice end to another amazing visit to this brilliant birding area.
|Female Hawfinch,Kew,Taking Advantage Of The Locals.|
|What A Cracking Bird!.|
|Some Beautiful Grey Plover At Beacon Ponds.|
|Little Egrets,Kilnsea Wetlands.|
|Some Stunning Bar-tailed Godwits At Kilnsea Wetlands.|
|Female Bar-tailed Godwit,Kilnsea Wetlands.|
|Amazing Contrast In The Plumages Of Male And Female Bar-tailed Godwits,Kilnsea Wetlands.|
|Incoming Common Sandpiper,Kilnsea Wetlands.|
|'Rubicola' Stonechat,Well Field.|
|Male Wheatear,Near Canal Car Park.|