Quite a good early show in the moth trap today with 8 species caught, including two nice Red Chestnut and the first Clouded Drab of the year. Up until last year, Pine Beauty was a regular at this time, but the cold spring of 2013 resulted in a blank, and with none so far this year, its starting to get worrying....
After checking the moths, I headed off to Low Newton, alone, JWR working this morning.
I covered most of the area, starting at the pool and scrapes, then Newton Point and Football Hole before finishing at the Long Nanny. I didn't see another birder.
There seemed to be a lot of Pied Wagtails in all areas with 8+ in the paddock opposite the Tin Church and 7+ on the beach with 7+ Rock Pipits, including at least one 'littoralis'. A Fieldfare was in the paddock too, with good numbers of Blackbirds, getting ready to head north to breed. 2 Siskins flew north overhead.
The point was quiet, but on a day as mild as this, I was half hoping for a Wheatear but it is very early for one up here. The highlight was a single Redwing in the compound and my first Lesser Celandines of the year in flower.
Down at the Long Nanny, a pair of Stonechats showed well [as they always do] near the tern wardens hut while 135 Curlew were on the salt marsh. While photographing the Stonechats I heard what I'm sure was a Green Sandpiper calling, high in the distance.
You may have noticed that I'm not getting about Howick as much as in previous years? Its lazyness really, birding here is difficult with little reward, so its nice to get up to Newton where even on a slow day there is a lot to look through...I must try and pick up the patch score though...
|Stonechat displaying, standing on tip-toes.|