Can't keep up with all this birding, and certainly not blogging too.
Avocet Conder Pool 28 March. Pete Woodruff.
I'd been looking for this bird at the left hand edge of this island on Conder Pool for the past few days, the very spot they nested last year, but I had to wait until Wednesday to find the Avocet had arrived here. The bird was attacked by a Black-headed Gull, and chased off towards the Lune Estuary where I found it 30 minutes later feeding by the Conder mouth. When I returned to Conder Green 4 hours later, the Avocet was back on Conder Pool. There was no sign of it yesterday in two visits 2 hours apart.
The Avocet has returned to Conder Pool for it's third year, 10 days earlier than it did in 2017, when AC found it there on 6 April, he texted me with the news, but the bird had left before I got there and I had to wait 4 days to see it there on 10 April. In 2016 the Avocet was a late arrival, and didn't show here until 20 May, but a pair eventually hatched four young, but only one survived to fledging, the only one to have done so in both years.
A Cautionary Tale.
Having walked past Bank Houses at Cockersand, I stood at the metal gate SD431534 looking across the field and heard a bird to my right briefly burst into song, 30 seconds later the bird again burst into song to my left. By now the bird I had clearly heard twice, was by song, a Common Whitethroat.
But wait a minute, for a bird heard only, you really do have to look more deeply into the claim. For starters, there are no Whitethroats mentioned as arrivals into the UK at the Portland Bird Obs and having given all the details to two other reliable birders, the most valuable suggestion being it was more likely I had heard a Dunnock being more variable in song than usual.
No point in going any further down this road of claiming to have heard a Whitethroat on 28 March at Cockersand, but, with a recording like this one below to listen to, I'm never going to convince myself I didn't.
The Golden Oldie.
I dug up my header image of the Pacific Diver that I saw at Farnham GP's N.York's Feb 2007.
Found on 12 January 2007, it was the first confirmed record for Europe which was initially thought to be a Black-throated Diver, and at first posed something of a problem, in that Farnham Gravel Pits are privately owned, and at the time, members of a Yorkshire Naturalist Society bird-watched there as guests of the land owner. The news of this potentially first for the Western Palearctic was reluctantly suppressed before eventually being released.
HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE