|Dotterel at Balemore, North Uist|
Anyway, today it was back to the patch in the cloud and rain. I had a long list of things to do so only a short-ish visit was managed, but the persisting joy of patching, that being the perennial hope that encourages one to look, struck. I had spent most mornings from mid-February to the end of March checking Rowe's Flashe for Pochards, and remarkably drew a blank (this species is normally annual at that time of year). Anyway, this morning, one of the first birds clocked on Mill Pond was a dapper pair of Pochard, on the far north side. Excellent. I had written this bird off after failing during the optimum period, so this was fantastic, and I now sit on 104 for the year.
|The Pochard pair today|
A small footnote - previously, I listed schedule 1 species in the sightings log when they were not close to breeding sites (my patch is very big). From now, this will cease, and no schedule 1 birds will be put on the blog. Furthermore, any schedule 1 species that are yet to be noted this year will also be omitted, unless they are clearly not breeding here or nearby. Highlights from today as follows:
Mill Pond: 2 Pochards (♂♀), 1 Gadwall (♂), 1 Little Grebe, 4 Tufted Ducks (♂♀♂♀), 3 Mandarins ♂♂♀, plus 4 ducklings), 2 Grey Herons, 5 Mute Swans and 2 Blackcaps.
Combe Farm: 1 Buzzard, 3 Red-legged Partridges and 1 Chiffchaff.
Thorncombe Street: 3 Buzzards, 2 Swifts, 1 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Blackcap.
Scotsland Brook - Hive Field: 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Buzzards, 2 Swifts, 2 Blackcaps and 1 Chiffchaff.
Bonhurst Farm: 1 Little Owl, 3 Greylag Geese, 2 Linnets and 1 Blackcap.