Saturday 7 March 2015

Birds are on the move providing another unexpected garden tick (No 78).

Every morning we scan the field and lake for birds, time and light permitting, to see what is about.

View from the window showing the lake and the puddles.
This morning was no exception and I saw what I thought at first to be a single lapwing sitting by the edge of one of the large puddles in the field. I scanned across the lake to find many fewer ducks, the majority of the tufties, pochards and wigeons having moved on it seems. I then turned my attention back to the lapwing and saw that it was now teetering around in the puddle pumping its back end for all it was worth. This was no lapwing.

Green Sandpiper in a puddle in the field.

This pump-action bird could be only one of two things, common or green sandpiper. It is still a little early for summer migrants and sure enough on closer inspection this turned out to be our first Green Sandpiper; species number 78.

Green Sandpiper at Lemsford Springs, 14/03/2015.

A few days ago we had a pair of oystercatchers on the same puddle. This species bred locally last year so we hope they will again and that they will become a regular sighting.

Oystercatchers on the puddles.

March is supposed to be a good time of year for unusual birds to turn up at feeders (not that I'm expecting the sandpiper to hit our sunflower seeds) as a result of winter forage being much scarcer due to most of it having been eaten, and the increased movement of birds beginning to think about returning from whence they had come to breed. On the 12th of March we will have been here a year, will we get to 80, just two more species, by then? It shouldn't be impossible we still haven't been visited by a siskin and nor have we seen any redwings (for certain) I will just have to spend more time gazing out of the window and less time working obviously!

Siskin at the feeder in our last house. A sight we hope to see before too long here too.

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