Spent plenty of time down the Soar Valley today – with one diversion – hoping to pick up a few migrants. After checking out a pretty birdless Birstall Meadows, though I did tick off Garden Warbler, I drove round to Watermead Country Park South. As I pulled up an Osprey flew slowly North – a quick text off to Dave Gray, who, despite being at WCPN didn’t see the bird. What a start. At least 6 Swift were hawking around with a small hirundine flock and the Lesser Whitethroat was machine-gunning its song out at the back of the car park. Three ticks in a few minutes… nice.
The next new birds were a Ringed Plover on Wanlip Meadows along with two LRP and four Common Tern over King Lear’s Lake.
After breakfast no ticks were to be had a Cossington Meadows. Apart from a reeling Grasshopper Warbler in the reedbed on Moor Pool it was pretty rubbish.
I returned to WCPN late afternoon and headed for Kingfisher Hide. After about 45 minutes of seeing not much out of the ordinary, though a pair of Moorhen already had three chicks hatched, and there at the back of the reedbed in the scrub – Willow Tit song. It took another 20 minutes or so before the little bugger showed itself briefly. After Dave’s sighting in the same area earlier in the week there is slim hopes that Willow Tit might just be hanging on in the Soar Valley. Who would have thought that two years ago we’d be twitching Willow Tit and pretty much ignoring Cetti’s Warbler?
Six year ticks today – takes me to 125 for the year. Only 15 to go to hit my target.