TUESDAY 12 APRIL
Well, following a number of April days breaking all previous records to 1892, cooler NW winds set in overnight bringing a much fresher feel to the weather. In fact, temperatures returned to near normal at this time of year, ranging between 8 and 11 degrees C. It did remain fine and dry however.
After an abortive attempt at the Arundel WWT Little Crake all day yesterday, I decided to concentrate closer to home today and birded the Three Counties. It was a very productive day.......
THE MILLENIUM PARK, MARSTON VALE (BEDFORDSHIRE)
(midday to 1330 hours)
In an attempt to 'clean up' on a few outstanding common migrants that had appeared over the weekend, I visited Marston Vale and notched up my 150th species in Bedfordshire this year. I managed four additions in total - WESTERN REED & SEDGE WARBLER, COMMON WHITETHROAT and HOUSE MARTIN - but failed in my quest to hear or see the single Grasshopper Warbler that has arrived on site, mainly because of the freshening and cold wind.
I did a complete circuit of the reserve with a very impressive 22 singing male WILLOW WARBLERS being recorded. Also seen were Sparrowhawk, several Barn Swallows and Sand Martins, 8 House Martins, 5 Sedge Warblers, 1 Western Reed Warbler, 1 male Common Whitethroat, 2 CETTI'S WARBLERS (the overgrown ditch pair), 9 Blackcaps, male Bullfinch and 6 Reed Buntings.
ROOKERY PIT SOUTH (BEDS)
No sign of yesterday's early Hobby nor of a hoped-for Osprey (one of which did fly north over Southill this afternoon) and very quiet overall - just 4 Common Redshanks, the 2 singing male Willow Warblers by Jackdaw Bridge and a male Blackcap. Of interest, Black-headed Gulls numbered 122 with the breeding colony now harbouring 45 active nests.
BROGBOROUGH LAKE (BEDS)
No luck with any Common Cuckoos but 18 Great Crested Grebes loafing, 20 Sand Martins, 4 Blackcaps, a male Sedge Warbler (by the fishing lake), a male Willow Warbler, 1 Common Chiffchaff and Bullfinch all seen, as well as an Orange Tip butterfly.
Lee G R Evans