Saturday, 14 April 2012

A waiting game on the patch

A quick stop for petrol, and I arrive at the farm car park at 7.15.
First stop is Seventy Acre's Lake, Where there's still no sign of any new arrivals and with the Bittern hide still locked I wander round to Fisher's Green Island hoping for an early Nightingale. Sadly no Nightingales but there's plenty of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs around. 
The goose Fields prove quiet as well with only a single Shelduck of note. I must have the only patch in the London area without a Wheatear on it.
Onto the Grand Weir hide and a look over Holyfield Lake. No sign of any of the target species (Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Red-Crested Pochard), but a scan of the pylons does get me a patch tick in the form of a Peregrine (82), perched on pylon 5.
Next stop is Langridge Scrape, where the water levels are still high despite the supposed water shortages and forced hose pipe bans. There's plenty of tufted ducks present and amongst them is a very smart drake Pintail. A really graceful looking duck and one I'm always happy to see especially on the patch. No sign of either of the LRP's seen on the last two visits though, and the only waders present are in the shape of nine Lapwings. A startled  Red-Legged partridge is flushed  from the longer grass while walking along the Eastern edge. 
A look over the Eastern side of Holyfield Lake for Red-Crested Pochard doesn't prove fruitful, but does give me another patch tick when two Swallows (83) briefly fly low over the lake and then disappear from view.
Up at the farm there's a couple of Yellowhammers singing and Skylarks are numerous and very vocal.
On the whole it's still pretty quiet but another week may well make all the difference. 

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