Patchwork Birding 20th April

Another excellent session this afternoon, returning 53 species – the last one being 2 COMMON SANDPIPERS in Riverside Park as the tide started going down around 5pm

From Cobden Bridge to the Airport and back 1pm – 5pm

Cycled today from Cobden Bridge and had 30 species by the time i got to Mansbridge Res including Willow Warbler at Woodmill and Little Grebe. High tide.

Walking route through the border stream gate. First Sedge Warbler of the year as expected in the area north of M27 in the reeds on the Eastliegh side. Mute Swan here back on the 2013 nest site. Around the Two bridges area anti-clockwise – close encounters here with at least 2 Cetti’s and more Sedge Warblers.

Kingfisher seen briefly by the Weir – first for several weeks, and a Little Egret flying leisurely up the River Itchen.
Water Rail then calling on the Navigation where the Meadow Trail joins the footpath.
First Whitethroat of the year in brambles here

Stayed on the Meadows up the western side and out to the Navigation by the Sanctuary gate. Goldcrest, Nuthatch and GSW drumming here. Reed Buntings en route.
Up to the Airport, and House Martin calling overhead as expected. Only three birds. Two more Whitethroats at the crossing.
50th day tick here was a distant calling Green Woodpecker.

Route back along the south of Decoy Wood adding flyover Grey Heron and Great Black-backed Gull. Little Egret returned.
Hence down the mid-stream channel onto My Bridge for a rest, scanning the Meadows.

Photo1292

Super views of Mallards mating here and a very close Cetti that moved with me down 50m of hedge along the ditch. Found a crossing point today on the second channel that I have not seen before. Useful.

Last bird in the Meadows was the only Buzzard of the session, showing well circling over the M27 behind the White Swan and notched up a 53rd with two Common Sandpipers by the Sewage Farm as usual on the way home.

Highlights today:

8 SEDGE WARBLERS at least, in the southern half of the Meadows (patchwork yeartick = 83)

4 WHITETHROATS including two within a few metres at the Airport (patchwork yeartick = 84)

3 HOUSE MARTINS moving north together over the Airport (patchwork yeartick = 85)

Otherwise of note:

20+ Chiffchaff along the route

10+ Blackcap

4 Cetti’s Warblers, including one seen well as it moved along 50m of hedgerow in the middle of the Meadows

2 Willow Warblers

6+ Reed Buntings

1 Kingfisher – my first for several weeks

1 Water Rail – calling on the navigation south of Sandy Lock

4 Swallows

8 Jays, including 4 together on the Navigation and 3 together at Decoy Wood

1 Little Egret flying up and down the river north of IVCP bridge

2 singing Nuthatch at Decoy Wood

2 drumming GS Woodpeckers in the same area

Grey Heron and adult Great Black-backed Gull in the air flying south together.
No interaction, just at the same time…

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