Tuesday 14 April 2015

Brascote Comes Back to Life

It has been a while since Brascote has made the local birding headlines, but a couple of Ring Ouzels and a pair of Garganey have got it back on the map.

The Ring Ouzels first appeared on Sunday and are still present this evening. The field they are frequenting has had work done on it to drain it, so it is pleasing that it is still attracting birds despite being dryer than in the past. Tonight as well as the Ring Ouzels, six Wheatears were also in the field. Also a male White Wagtail was in the same field as the Ring Ouzels on Sunday night. 

A pair of Garganey arrived today and stayed long enough for me to finish work and see them. This is only the second record in SW Leicestershire since two were seen by George Downes at Huncote Sandpit back in 1976. I have long suspected that Brascote could host this species.

I am working on updating the SW Leics list and will post an updated version soon. We are still waiting for the 200th species for the area having been stuck on 199 for quite a while now.

Drake Garganey, Brascote Pits 14/04/15
Male and Female Garganey, Brascote Pits 14/04/15

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Shawell Update

Things haven't been well at Shawell lately despite finding a juvenile Iceland Gull and several Med Gulls during March. For some reason the number of gulls using the site has been lower than expected. Saturdays have been rubbish (no pun intended) during the last few weeks and last Saturday I gave up at dinner time.

Maybe the gulls that wintered in the area have already moved on and the ones that migrated south are yet to arrive? Maybe the lack of food waste going into landfill is starting to have an effect? Maybe the Common Buzzard that keeps launching low flying attacks on the gulls isn't helping?

I called in this afternoon for ten minutes and there were more gulls than I'd seen throughout March on the lagoons. Maybe I should stop trying to second guess whats going on. Anyway there was a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls amongst the Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, which may be a result of a bit of northward migration. Both the Yellow-legged Gulls were youngsters, so I guess they followed the Lesser Black-backed Gulls north?

Second Calendar-Year Yellow-legged Gull