Friday, 5 April 2013

Easter Summary

* Hurst Castle pays dividends,
* Hurst Castle subsequently proves hard work with little reward!
* My first Spring Migrants arrive,

A couple of mornings spent at Hurst Castle over the Easter weekend. The strong North East winds have persisted for a couple of weeks now, with no sign of abating, and adding a bitter cold chill to the air. Spring migrants seem to be struggling through though, and the first visit, in sunshine, was quite enjoyable with Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Common Scoter, Eider, Greenshank, Black Redstart and 4 or 5 Wheatears the highlights.
The second visit, in painfully cold conditions was less successful with just two Sandwich Terns for highlights! The saltmarsh side of the spit did, however, have good numbers of Waders at low tide with a Summer plumaged Black tailed Godwit among the Dunlins, Grey Plover, Curlew etc.

Despite the long walk over shingle, Hurst is proving to be a productive venue so far this Spring, Black Redstart being a better find than anything I managed in Last spring’s run of bad luck. Worryingly, my part of Hampshire has already fallen into the typical Spring run of Blue skies, and presumably ideal fly over conditions for migrants. I await rain!

Further inland, I saw my First Sand Martins of the year at Skidmore over the rapidly drying flooded field, together with a singing Chiff-Chaff, and 3 Shelducks.

This morning’s commute into London was brightened up by a Woodcock over the M3 near Winchester, and a Red Kite on the M25 at Staines!

Thought for the day.. imagine if these Easterly winds had occurred in autumn!