Thursday, 27 March 2014
The Early Bird
Darn it if after a 3.30 trickle trip I couldn't drop back into slumber. By 4.30 I decided to make the most of the moment and enjoyed the dawn chorus. Very welcome after the months of dark mornings but slightly muted and expectant, still awaiting the green light to deliver the unadulterated cacophony to be unleashed during April. Once the light improved a little I headed down to the settling beds and Roswell Pits. I'd gone a bit too early and very little was moving about. I had a little stroll and admired the phragmites etched against the sky. Anyone remember the coloured paper used as an indicator for water in Science lessons? I reckon this is a Cobalt Chloride sky......
There wasn't a lot of action at the pools but Great-crested Grebes looked fantastic in the flat light. The water was silver laced and I did manage to see a Cetti's Warbler well on several occasions feeding in the reedy tangle.
At Roswell there were Chiffchaffs singing in each copse and stand of trees. A couple of Blackcaps warbled and chacked and Kingfisher and Green Woodpecker were both vocal. I was drawn to a low ramble of bramble by an insistent high pitched seeping, a tone that I wasn't quite normal. My reward for following this was to see a watch piece of behaviour from a pair of Robins. One bird had a lovely pink worm in it's beak and pirouetted at the front and back of the other bird who cocked it's tail and strutted it's chest but ultimately moved away so that the other bird performed it's dance again both birds were contact calling with the arresting seep. After several teases a very postured display feed took place and then the birds remained almost still for 30 seconds or so . I then left them, undisturbed, to continue weaving their invisible bonds.
The flood meadows looked perfect for attracting a quick stop over Garganey or Avocet and I'm sure this spring that they will. However I got my kicks from Teal, Gadwall and plenty of bright finches in the bushes. Bull, Green, Gold and Chaffinch all looking very smart in their Sunday best.
On a return trip past the settling beds a pair of Buzzards looked quite territorial and Marsh Harrier were also cruising the reedbed.