I'm now finished at university so its back to birding for me. Over the last few weeks whilst finishing my work off I have managed a few early morning trips to West Hartford. The highlight of these trips being a Nuthatch in Hartford Wood, (a first at WH for me), a Greenshank which briefly dropped in and 12 Shelduck, a record WH count.
I have missed the odd bird at WH recently but work had to come first so no Little Grebe or Yellow Wagtail for me. However after finishing last week I did manage to catch up with a pair of Coot which have taken up residence in the SW corner of the main pool. Little Grebe and Coot may not sound that exciting but they are the first records at WH since 2003 this is surely because of the high amount of water flooding the area and linking both the pools.
With Prestwick Carr being the place for waders recently WH has only managed Greenshank and Ringed Plover but 5 Tufted Duck two weeks ago was also another very rare sight.
On sunday I was out with SH for a few hours. Woodhorn and Newbiggin were quiet. A few 1st sumer Med Gulls were on the beach in the South Bay and a Eurasian White Fronted Goose was still amongst the group of Greylags near Woodhorn south pool.
No sign of the Hooded Crows at Cresswell/Bell's Farm area, (they would have been a county tick for me). Two Avocets and a Common Sandpiper were near the causeway though.
Yesterday I took advantage of the good weather and went to WH. First thing I noticed on the main pool was a stunning drake Garganey alongside a pair of Shelduck. It spent the next hour moving in and out of the vegetation along the west side of the pool and at one point few off and landed again in the SW corner.
This wasn't my first at WH, I saw the pair that spent a few days in the same area two years ago. But whilst watching the Garganey I heard a first record for WH and a long overdue tick, Cuckoo!
It called between 10 and 12 times somewhere between the main pool and the farm but I never saw it. There is a lot of suitable habitat around that area but unfortunately I think it was just passing through.
2 Sedge Warbler and 2 Grasshopper Warbler and at least 10 Whitethroat were seen or heard also yesterday around the pools.
Also on 26th April I looked out the window and saw a Swift flying north struggling against the wind.
So thats Wigeon, Crossbill, Nuthatch, Coot and Cuckoo all added to my WH list so far this year, I wonder what is next?